Whelp. I haven't done anything for quite a while. In fact, I have a story I started for Persona 4 on this site that I've neglected for quite a while, but I just haven't had the time to work on it for a while. Long ago, I had an idea for a story and started working on it. I found it recently and was in the mood to write, so I cleaned it up a little, adjusted and finished it.

Be advised, I'm a super novice. I do accounting and sales, not writing, for a living, so I just do this for fun. Be easy and just enjoy the ride but I don't mind some constructive criticism that can help me improve.

If you do like the idea, let me know and I'll try and keep it going. My life is busy and I do this for a fun and as a hobby so my updates will not follow a consistent schedule.

Plus, I love the Zelda series and I've wanted to write something with it cause..I'm a nerd.

This being said, I present (from the super amateur):

The Return

Not long ago, a land was threatened with destruction. The land of Termina. The people of this land, one morning found themselves looking skyward as the very moon that graced their skies by night as it was suddenly brought down towards their homes. It's slow but sure descent had been impossible to ignore.

However when the initial shock passed, there soon came denial. Many of the citizens denied the moon's gradual descent as it blotted out the sky. The absurd prospect of the moon crashing into their beloved land was something no one would admit the first day, ruling it as a strange and rare occurrence while the fear gnawed in their hearts. Yet as the moon neared their homes as the hours progressed, the reality came closing with it. Their homes were going to be destroyed by something they couldn't possibly stop on their own. The fateful evening came the night they were to celebrate time and living. The town was ironically deserted as the moon began it's final descent onto their homes. What happened after that...no one exactly knows.

For some, they claim they saw four giants stop the moon while others claim it had never happened stating an ill magic had caused them to see something that simply wasn't there.

There were a select few however that claimed a young boy clad in green went into the moon. A young boy that many seemed to have some sort of recollection of, but couldn't grasp his face or his deeds. Many felt as if he had played a significant role in their lives...but it was as if those three days were marred in their memories and their recollections of what happened were just out of their reach. Almost as if a strange magic seemed to distort what had happened.

In truth, they were not far off. Though the boy in green quickly became a legend of their past. Something that they would lower their voices with reverence when they spoke of him. They all felt a debt of gratitude to the unknown Hero, as if something wanted them to know of his deeds. Many didn't understand the power that could have allowed something so small to do something so great. Yet the few that tried to dismiss his deeds, were quickly rebuked by those who spoke out most of his deeds. Though no one person knew of everything he had done - there was one truth.

The land of Termina owned him their lives.

That young man had quickly sunk into obscurity, disappearing after the moon had returned to it's rightful place in the heavens.

Many hoped for his return, if only to prove to themselves that he had been real, that what they felt in their hearts was true.

Seven years have passed since then, but no one had forgotten what had happened. How could they? The moon would always come out at night, while retaining it's position in the heavens...their hearts couldn't forget.

While there are many people in this land, our story is of a small ranch southwest of Clocktown. The ranch, named after the founder's own wife had seen a few generations pass since its foundation. It had seen good and bad through its slow rise to its current fame and size. None of it's previous owners however, had dealt with the type of troubles that the current owners had faced. Two young women were currently in charge of it, their father and mother having passed away in their younger years. They had been forced to shoulder the responsbilites of the family ranch. The oldest, Cremina, had shouldered the responsibilities of owning a farm and supplying the people of Clocktown with the infamous "Chateau Romani" milk. She had grown quickly and missed out on what most people would consider a "normal life".

They too had been greatly impacted by the young boy in green's presence. Oddly the eldest sister seemed to have a stronger recollection of his presence than the her younger sister. Something about his aura had left an impression on the elder sister. When ever the people spoke of him she always remembered two things. Courage was the first, while the second was a strange one. She remembered his eyes, these sharp blue eyes that betrayed his physical age. For some reason she had never forgotten that, maybe because she knew what it felt like to grow up at a young physical age..but something about his had been different. However, while she remembered him – remembering when and where she interacted him was another story. It was strange, the memories seem aloof and hard to recall. They were there, but she couldn't place them. It was strange, and frankly frustrating. As the years had worn on it seemed to get worse. They would speak of him, then he would slowly disappear from their minds and they would have to recall him once more.

With a sigh the elder sister stretched in the hot summer sun as she loaded the wagon with the milk delivery that she aimed to get to Clocktown that evening. She couldn't remember exactly when but she stopped taking the delivery at night nor could she remember exactly what had been the catalyst to that. With a quick shake of her head, her long red hair went into her face. She brushed it aside with an annoyed huff and brushed the sweat from her forehead with her sleeve.

"Oi! Sis!" Her younger sister's voice called out from the house.

"Yes?!" She called over her shoulder twisting ever slightly to see.

"Don't forget to pickup some chicken feed for our lovely neighbor!" She shouted her head poking out from the doorway of their small home.

Cremia rolled her eyes "Of course I won't forget I've got the list, unlike somebody." She emphasized with a smirk.

Her sister puffed her cheeks in a pout "That was only once!" She quickly before looking down "or maybe three times..." She said quieter.

"Right, right." Cremia giggled to her self as her sister walked to the wagon.

"You sure you don't mind doing the trip tonight?" She asked hefting a container of milk into the wagon.

Cremia nodded. "Of course, you just owe me."

Her sister rolled her eyes "and exactly what do I owe you?"

Cremia stopped and put a finger to her chin "I dunno yet." She smiled sweetly at her sister.

Romani shook her head with a smile before her face got a little more serious "Be careful, kay'?"

Cremia ruffled her little sisters hair though it was a little harder now that she was a tiny bit taller than herself, something she instantly scrunched her face in annoyance at "Don't worry sis, you know the roads are really safe now days."

Her sister quickly straightened her hair, she actually worried about that now that she was 17 years old. "Stop doing that!" She huffed before as she tried to get her hair back in place. She looked a lot like Cremia had when she was 17 but her face was a little rounder and her body a little taller and thinner than her own. Though Cremia was proud that she had more curves than her sister.

Cremia just chuckled "Who are you worried about impressing? Old Bill?" She motioned to the horse hooked up to the wagon.

Romani stuck her tongue at her in response before turning back to the house "I'll see you tonight..." She grumbled.

Cremia smirked "Bye bye!" She said sweetly as she quickly hefted her self onto the wagon.

"Be careful you don't get attacked by bandits again!" Romani called out sarcastically over her shoulder.

"Oh don't even st-…wait…" Cremia froze "when did that happen again..?"

Romani paused before she blinked and furrowed her eyebrows "I…I don't remember…" she scowled "I feel like it was right after something else important…wasn't some one with you?"

Cremia looked down and closed her eyes, there was a memory but she couldn't quite recall it. "I…I think so…who was it though?"

The two went quiet trying to recall the illusive memories. "Grasshopper" Romani said seriously after a few moments of silence.

"Come again?" Cremia blinked at her sister.

"I nicknamed him Grasshopper remember..?" Romani said scratching her face

Cremia stepped down onto the grass and moved towards her sister "him….him…he wore green right?"

Her sister rolled eyes, her face had "duh" written all over it "of course, why else would I have nicknamed him that?"

Cremia rolled her eyes back in response "because we all should just get how your crazy mind worked back then" She mumbled to her self. They both went quiet again as they strained to recall more. Cremia scrunched her nose "Why does it feel like it happened but…didn't happen? Does that make sense?" Now that she thought about it she felt like she had conflicting memories…one was much less pleasant and something bad had happened to Romani…but she had dismissed it as a nightmare.

Romani nodded "yeah…wasn't that back when the moon was…" she slowed

Cremia looked at the sky but alas there was no moon blotting out the sky. "Yeah…I think so" she said softly. "Wait." She furrowed her brows in concentration "you know that boy they speak of…the boy in green…was it him?"

Romani frowned "it's almost hard to believe he would have helped us, considering how many claim helped them yet he was only here during moon incident right?"

Cremia shook her head wondering why they'd never come to this conclusion before. They'd spoken about him previously, but never even considered this option some how "as far as we know…." Suddenly she recalled the two deep blue eyes full of courage and wisdom only time could grant looking up at her. "Link." She said softly.

"Huh?" Her sister cocked her head.

"His name…was Link."

Cremia settled onto the seat before giving the reigns a quick whip. Old Bill whined in response before he began to slowly saunter forward. She expected and hoped this to be a fairly simple trip without complications, she could use the break. She eased up to one of the more recent additions of the ranch.

A sturdy gate.

She hopped down from the seat and unlocked the gate, swinging it wide open as Bill stamped the ground impatiently. This routine was tedious but it definitely was the safest. She hefted her self back up and gave the reigns a light whip as the old wheel she used to use had proved to be quite impractical Bill moved forward slowly, having grown used to this part, before she stopped him. She jumped off again, closing and locking the gate firmly before finally setting out on her journey.

She let her mind wonder aimlessly once they had left behind milk road and passed the Gorma brothers land – she knew Bill knew the way after consistent travel. It was a three hour journey to Clocktown, so she was grateful to be able to some what be able to relax. Lately Cremia had been feeling this sense of loneliness eating at her stomach. Romani and herself were close but…ever since she had seen Anju and Kafei joined in marriage and seeing them together frequently, she had been longing for something like that. She squinted as the sun shined in her eyes forcing a frown on her face. She reached back and grabbed her summer hat and placed it quickly on her head. The steady bumps of the road reminded her of the road ahead. Her mind slowly drifted back to the obscure boy Romani and her self had been speaking of. She glanced back without any reason to the rear of the wagon…had he really been the one to ride with her? A mere boy?

Suddenly a memory returned as she was brushing one of their cows as she looked at the slightly blurry face of the lad. "Come back when you are older." She had said with a strange feeling in her chest at the time.

She felt her face warm up "ahhh!" She panicked clutching her hat "I didn't really say that did I?!" She sunk moving both hands to her face "that is so embarrassing…" She wailed into her hands. "what was I even thinking? I mean...how old had he even been….?" She shook her head and gave her face a light tap in hopes of moving her mind away from the topic as old bill seemed to glance back at her as if she was the strangest creature. She stuck her tongue out at him before catching her self and clearing her throat. Realizing she was acting crazy out in the middle of no where she sighed and sat up.

The face tap didn't end up working.

Her mind seemed to recall strange memories of that time. She knew they had survived the moon incident but when she really tried to recall what had happened to them during that time...she couldn't remember it exactly. It was as if she had two different memories and feelings of the time. Obviously some how things had worked out properly...but...what exactly DID happen?

She remembered letting Romani sleep with her that night and the fear of her life ending but not being able to do anything to protect either of them from the impending doom. The ground would shake as the moon neared the land, while Romani some how slept through it..completely oblivious to it all. The cries of the Inn workers from town wouldn't let her forget what was about to happen. Yet. somehow sleep had over taken her as she had cried to her self as she waited for the inevitable doom.

Then somehow she woke up.

At first, she thought she had died and that there was an after life after all..then the form of her sister snuggled into her caused her breath to hitch. Soon her body quivered as her emotions took over, filled with joy that they were alive which in the process woke a very confused Romani.

Once she semi composed her self, she jumped out of bed bolting down the stairs, seeing the confused faces of the members staying with them, as they all had expected to not awaken this day. She had busted out the door and looked to the sky

The moon was gone.

Her legs had given out as she finally realized she wasn't dreaming. At the time she hadn't even cared how they had survived. All she knew was that Romani was alive, she was alive and at that point that was all that mattered.

She continued her life after that, but soon the whispers met her ears as she went into town. People asking the unknown question:

Where did the moon go? Who stopped it or had it happened at all. As people asked this she soon realized that she couldn't recall much of what had happened during those days the moon was coming down and she soon realized she wasn't the only one. As time progressed everyone began to accept that they would never know what exactly happened.

But one man began to speak up about what they had seen. The boss of the carpenters claimed that a Boy in green had gone into the moon. At first he was deemed crazy, but then the guard stationed at the gate confirmed the words of the man.

However now one could find the boy and as the topic spread more, people stated he had helped them in personal ways yet they couldn't remember him personally, as if he had been a spirit of a specter of sorts. It caused great confusion but eventually it was accepted by most that this boy, who ever he had been had done something to help them all.

Cremia shook her head a mere boy...just who was he? For some reason she had been intrigued about him and she had this odd desire to find him not long after she had recalled that he had played a role in their lives. It seemed like he would slip away from her mind then she would slowly remember him again. She was a curious girl, and she really wanted to know.

The journey went by without any incident and thanks to being lost in thought she suddenly found she was almost to the town's walls. Clocktown's population had grown forcing them to build homes outside the walls, while still a new development it had progressed well enough. The few homes that had been erected were under diligent guard from the town watch giving them security thanks to a 24/7 guard. All in all it had been beneficial as it had allowed more people into their land increasing business for everyone. She neared the gate as she watched children run between homes giggling. They would all stop and wave at her, warming her heart. As she neared the gate the guard waved to her, she knew exactly who it was. She pulled her wagon to the side, to make sure she was out of the way of any traffic.

"Cremia, dear!" The guard moved to her removing his helmet, reveling his aged face and gray hair.

She smiled warmly at him "Hello, John." she moved to step down off the wagon as he playfully offered a hand to her which she couldn't help but smile at as she took it stepping down. "How are you?"

He smiled as he moved to help her unload "doing well dear. How has the ranch fared?"

She hefted a container of milk that rattled at the movement "we seem to be getting more busy." She sighed "it's getting to be almost too much with just Romani and I." She set down the container outside the milk bar and gave the door a couple taps to let them know the milk was delivered. There was always someone getting ready for the evening in the latter half of the day.

"That's why you need to find a husband." He quipped causally

"J-J-John!" Cremia fumbled causing him to laugh as her face flushed "I-I don't need a husband!" She said defiantly folding her arms.

She felt him place a hand on her shoulder, she lowered her arms slowly looking back at him as he smiled at her softly "I know dear, you are plenty responsible." He squeezed her shoulder "I just don't want you to be alone any longer."

She frowned, the mood suddenly somber "It's fine..no I'M fine…." She whispered. The old guard and her self had formed an oddly close bond the past few years.

"It'll happen eventually.." John spoke up "my Caroline was well worth the wait" he said wistfully.

Cremia smiled moving back toward the cart to grab the next crate"maybe eventually John." She said softly. "But..." She spun and smiled "I don't have time for a husband anyway." She said quickly causing him to laugh.

"No, you just don't have time for boys." John chuckled "That is why you need a man." He winked

Creamia rolled her eyes "in all seriousness...I.." she started causing the man to pause as they delivered the final batch. "no never mind." she smiled again.

The man's face creased slightly before he sighed. "I just wish you had some one there to look out for you, we worry about you dear."

Cremia couldn't help but smile, he was almost like their adopted grandfather. They didn't have any living family members unfortunately due to the previous generations always just having one child. Her parents were the first to go for two, and the second killed her Mother, while her father was killed in an accident with the live stock when Creamia was almost 12 and Romani was 5. The only way they had managed to stay afloat was thanks to John and his wife helping them. He had been close to her father so they had become like family. "Thank you, you are so kind to us." She said gratefully "but you know how scary Romani gets with that bow of hers" Cremia smirked.

John instinctively rubbed his rear end "oh yes, I'm quite aware." he grumbled.

Cremia chuckled "Thanks for the help John, I've got some shopping I've got to do." she waved as she turned to move into town "Do you mind keeping an eye on old bill?"

"of course dear" he waved back before placing the helmet back on his head returning to his post.

Creamia moved quickly into the shopping district to grab the items they needed for the next few days before they needed to come back into town. She navigated around the people out and about as they handled their shopping and trading. She noticed a small shop selling little wooden swords with green shirts. Apparently, the young boy had started a fad for the younger children to the point some one had made a business of it. she wasn't sure if she should smile or be annoyed.

She quickly grabbed their needed items, making sure to grab the chicken feed they needed before she moved quickly to get back to old bill. She wanted to get home and call it a day. she was ready for a nice night of rest.

Days passed, and life continued as it always had for the two sisters. With little changes in their day to day lives, time almost seemed to have little meaning. However this morning was a little different.

Cremia hadn't heard anything from upstairs where her sister slept, as they had split the bedroom not long ago through a simple wall to each other a little more privacy. After finishing cooking some eggs she decided it was time to go wake her up. She moved up the stairs, her bare feet making hardly any noise against the stairs. She tapped lightly on her bedroom, but was met with no response. She slowly opened the door, to see her sister's sleeping frame bundled in blankets…slightly unusual considering her normally disheveled sleeping habits. She moved over to her and knelt down next to her bed, gently she shook her sister. "Romani….Romani." She said gently "it's time to get up.."

The girl stirred slightly with a grumble, though her voice sounded weaker than normal. She started to sit up before a string of coughs shook her body, instantly telling Cremia why she had slept in. Her eyes instantly furrowed with concern. "Morning sis…" Romani managed with a hoarse voice.

"When did you catch this..?" Cremia asked placing the back of hand on her head feeling it was warm.

The girl pulled the covers up her chin trying to stay warm before she starting coughing again. "I guess last night.." She said with a tired smile.

Cremia sighed "well you stay and rest." She stood "I'll handle the chores today."

Romani frowned "I'm sorry sis…."

Cremia smiled at her "don't worry about it." She moved to the door "I'll put some tea on for you, so come down and grab it in a few minutes, since I'll be out side." Her sister nodded weakly. Cremia opened and closed the door softly. She moved gently but quickly down the stairs before putting a kettle of water on the fire before she put on her boots and looked out the window simply to check the weather, however she froze at the sight of a brilliant fiery red mare that stood lazily out in the should be empty area. She blinked and squinted trying to affirm what she was seeing. The creature seemed to be almost familiar for some reason but she couldn't remember why or where she'd seen it. Her white mane and tail blew gently in the breeze. Suddenly panic welled inside her, the horse was saddled…that meant a rider. She looked around frantically through her small view of the window. Her blood ran cold that she had possibly left the gate open. She bit her lip nervously before she grabbed a lone pitchfork in their home, grateful for its placement. She held it tightly and unlocked the door and quickly opened it and stepped out. She pivoted her head for a possible intruder but couldn't see any one. Her next concern was their live stock, she moved timidly out of the house and tiptoed towards the barn. She kept looking around, expecting something to jump out.

But it never came.

She took a breath as she got to the barn door. She quickly flung it open and pointed the pitchfork inside only to find the animals all in their rightful places looking at her like she was crazy. She resisted the urge to stick her tongue at the animals. She lowered the pitchfork slightly in confusion before turning back to the riderless horse on her land. She kept her head on a swivel but against her better judgment decided to get closer to the animal. She moved quickly at first and quietly still afraid something would jump out. Birds chirped happily and the light breeze the mood would have been perfect for her chores versus her current racing and concerned heart.

Her mind was still reeling as she was trying to figure out how this animal had gotten here. She gasped slightly remembering her original fear of the gate being opened. She spun quickly to the gate but soon was frozen dumbfounded as it was still locked up tight. With a slightly annoyed huff she dropped the pitch fork and continued her advance on the mare, whose ears' flicked at her approach. The horse snorted before grazing lazily on the field. Cremia slowed her approach as she was a few feet away, she reached out her hand trying to show she meant no harm. The horse watched her lazily with one eye as it continued to graze. She took a few more steps and noticed the horse would take a casual step forward, it's rear now facing her. Determined she took another step which the horse took one in kind.

"Stubborn animal.." She huffed to her self. The horse whined in response, she swore it would be laughing at her if it could. This continued as the horse would simply glance back chewing grass lazily while looking at her. "Come on…" she grumbled "I just want to know who you belong to." Suddenly the horse's ears shot up and it's head turned towards the gate. Cremia paused following it's gaze before the horse whined and bolted off towards the gate. Cremia blinked "w-wait!" She cried out watching as the horse barreled towards their high gate "stupid animal you can't jump that" She yelled as she stumbled after it hefting her work dress as she attempted to chase the much faster animal. She stopped, as the horse almost effortlessly jumped cleanly over the gate, leaving a rising dust trail as it continued to run down milk road. Leaving the elder sister completely dumbfounded at the entire incident. "H-huh….?" She blinked raising a hand to her face "What...in the world?"

Days passed and she never saw that mare again. She was somewhat disappointed in a way that she had never been able to figure out why it had come there in the first place. She sighed as she pulled the cart up to the gate as the guard waved at her. She knew who it was as he began to remove his helmet at her approach. Romani had said she was feeling better so she made the needed delivery today and to pickup some needed things for the ranch.

"Cremia darling!" John called out as he marched over to her

She smiled "Good day John."

He beamed "how are you doing?" He asked as he moved to the back of the carriage grabbing one of the crates of milk as she dismounted.

"well enough, Romani has been sick the past few days but she said she was feeling better." Cremia moved back and grabbed a crate of the milk as John waited for her patiently.

"oh dear, what did she get?" John asked with concern as they moved towards the gate to make the delivery.

Cremia sighed "I have no idea, it started out like a cold but just wouldn't go away." she shrugged with as much movement as she could with the heavy load. "I'm just glad she said she was feeling better, I've been really worried about her." She admitted, her voice slightly weaker than she intended.

John nodded "for good reason dear." they both dropped the delivery outside the milk bar, she knew they'd send the payment like always. He suddenly stopped "on a different note, did you hear?" He asked with a twinkle in his eyes and a slightly dangerous smirk.

Cremia blinked and paused suddenly slightly alert, this meant he was up to something "about…. what?" she said cautiously.

"The rumor is...that the hero has returned" John said as he lowered his voice.

Cremia froze for a second, her heart speeding up ever slightly The boy is back? Her desire to meet him again was rekindled "R-Really now?" Cremia stuttered slightly in an attempt to keep her voice even.

John smirked at her response "Oh? Interested are we?"

Cremia felt her face warm up "O-Of course not!" She said quickly "It's just strange.." She started trying to come up with an explanation "to imagine him coming back after all this time" she frowned "besides he is just a boy"

John smirked again, he was enjoying this and she could tell. "it's been seven years Cremia, he must be much older now."

Cremia groaned and shook her head, not even sure where he was going with this "I...sure, time has moved on but what does this have to do with me?"

John shrugged "Oh nothing dear, just thought you'd be interested to know."

Cremia huffed, though she was slightly frightened by how right he had been. Yet-

"who knows, maybe you could marry him." John said causally as he turned back to walk to the remaining cargo.

"gah.." Cremia choked "J-John!" She clasped her face as it warmed up again, she didn't even get why she was embarrassed. "H-h-he is much younger than me any way!" She managed to spit out.

John shrugged lazily not bothering to turn around "My Caroline is 5 years older than me."

Her face still warm, she stumbled up after him "that...that is different." she huffed then quickly shook her head not understanding why this conversation was even happening. "why are you pushing this so much any way?"

John just laughed and glanced back with a twinkle in his eye "I just like to see you actually squirm about something."

"JOHN!" She cried in exasperation, which only added to the old man's laughter.

She stretched as she closed the door behind her from the long day (in more ways than one). After a long grueling day between the chores and the trip to Clocktwon she decided her first order of business was go check on Romani. She removed her dirty work boots and placed them at the door, she knew she probably smelt terrible but Romani took priority right now. She went up the stairs quickly before she stepped gently to her door opening it and moved into her sister's door. She gave it a light tap and opened it softly. She instantly noticed the almost sickly air that hit her nostrils immediately alarming her. She moved quickly to her sister's bed who was breathing slightly shallow. "Hey…" she shook her lightly "are you okay?"

Romani groaned slightly before opening her eyes slowly. She shook her head, strands of hair were stuck to her forehead. Cremia nibbled her lip in concern "let me get a cool rag." She said gently.

Romani nodded as she was wracked with a nasty string of coughs that made Cremia cringe. She jogged down the stairs confused at how she had actually worsened since this morning and grabbed a bowl with a rag and quickly filled it with water. She moved up the stairs careful not to spill the water and moved back into Romani's room, kneeling next to her sister's bed. "You're getting worse…" Cremia said carefully.

Romani nodded, her face was pale. "Y-yeah…" she said weakly.

"Potion…I need to get you some red potion." Cremia thought out loud as she dabbed her forehead.

Romani coughed a few times, shaking the entire bed she laid on. "But..didn't you just go today?"

Cremia shook her head "I'll just make a trip again tomorrow, you are more important."

Romani coughed before sitting up slightly and she shook her head weakly "I'll be okay, I just need couple more days to rest."

Cremia frowned "Romani, this isn't a normal…something is wrong." She smiled at her "it's fine, we need to get you better okay?"

Romani nodded wealky before laying back down "okay.."

Cremia brushed her sister's hair out of her face gently "night."

"Mm." Romani hummed closing her eyes "night." Cremia stood and moved to the door "thank you…" she heard her sister say weakly, bringing a small smile to the elder sister's lips.

She shut the door gently before going back down stairs. It was oddly chilly and it seemed darker than usual. She peered outside through the small window and noticed the moon had been blotted out by ominous clouds. She sighed hoping the storm would pass through the night, it was the last thing she needed. She moved to their small fire pit and opted to start a small fire. She nodded satisfied, but knew she needed to clean up. She moved back up the stairs quietly and moved into their wash room. She didn't want to bother with warming water so she knew a cold bath was in order, though it would possibly dull her achy muscles from doing all the chores the past few days. She stripped off her work dress, covered with mud and filth. She sighed feeling quite unladylike, which seemed to be the story of her life. She eventually peeled off her undergarments before she moved to clean her body of dirt and sweat. She braced her self for the cold water before she dumped a bucket of cold water on her head. She instantly tensed up as the cold water washed over her. She scrubbed her self clean as quickly as she could before dumping buckets of water over head. "Cold cold cold…" she whimpered to her self quickly wrapping her self in a towel once she finished in an attempt to quickly dry her self off. Faster than she hand energy for she swiftly dressed her self in her night gown and practically shot down the stairs to the warmth of the fire. She laid down on the love seat that was placed in front of the fire and curled up next to the warmth. She inched closer, impatient to warm up her still cold body reminding her how much she hated the cold. As the warmth of the fire slowly began to win over the chilly air, she heard soft drops of rain begin to trickle against the house. She closed her eyes and let her self be warmed by the crackling fire. The odd mixture of the rain that was starting to pelt against the roof, the fire and the darkness seemed to help her relax…but it also felt lonely, something she didn't want to feel. None the less it always seemed to rear its ugly head whenever she allowed her self moments of rest. That was partly why she had been pushing so hard since she was a girl. It had held at bay the pains of losing her parents when she was young and taking over the responsibilities of her parents business. With a quick shake of her head she curled into a tighter ball. She hoped the movement would squeeze the thoughts from her mind. The biggest thing on her mind, was the worry of her little sister. It reminded her that if she lost Romani, she would be alone. That fear of losing her terrified her beyond reason. She'd already lost her parents, her childhood, even her love. To lose Romani? She shuttered and hugged herself closing her eyes against the tears that wanted to come but she felt were not necessary. She squeezed her eyes tight taking deep breaths to calm down. She would go to the witches' hut in the swamp and try and get some potion from them. It would be a shorter trip, which meant Romani could get better faster.

She let out a long breath as she talked her self mentally through it. Everything would be okay, her emotions were getting the best of her.

Slowly an odd question began to find its way into her mind from John's constant antics. Did she really want to find someone to marry? It seemed like the things she had held most dear had repeatedly been taken from her. She was 25 and single, while most girls she knew had married or at least met someone to court. Yet she had never had the luxury of time to make her self available and part of her didn't know if she wanted to. It was a strange feeling, wanting something yet not wanting it. She felt slightly hypocritical with those types of thoughts. She had always taken care of her self, and while she yearned to have some one close in a romantic way she was also afraid of it somehow. Life never seemed to be as happy as everyone said it was. Her life had taught her that.

"Good things never last." She said softly with a sad smile.

Hoping to clear her mind she rolled over slightly allowing her tired body to win over her active mind. She slowly let her self melt into the comfort of the warm fire and blanket. Slowly, she drifted to sleep as she felt the prickle of loneliness never leave her heart.

Cremia awoke to an achy back and her body in an odd position. She slowly opened her tired eyes as the sound of rain pelting against the house met her ears. She yawned, and realized she had fallen asleep on the small love seat. How she had stayed asleep all night on the uncomfortable furniture was beyond her. She stretched hoping to alleviate the soreness of her muscles, but found her back simply popped in protest. She slowly stood up, noting the fire had completely burnt out over the course of the night. She frowned noticing it was still very dark, she glanced out the window and to her dismay noticed the storm was still in full force and the rain continued to fall unrelenting. She quickly glanced at the clock and gasped realizing she had slept in, it was already past 7, much later then she normally would wake up. She scrambled up sloppily hitting her foot against the small table making her hiss in pain and grumble as she quickly stumbled up the stairs to quickly prepare her self for the day. She needed to feed the animals and milk the cows before she made the trip out to Woodfall, however with the late start she was already behind schedule which didn't give her much time to accomplish the needed task. Plus the rain was going to make the trip that much more difficult.

She quickly poked her head into her sister's room and to her relief she saw the slow steady rise of her chest. She moved in closer but felt her fear return as she noticed her breathing was shallow and her she was even paler than before. She placed her hand to her head and found cringed when she found she was burning up. Cremia's stomach churned with concern, she gently shook her, her heart beating faster. "Romani?" She said softly, her voice showing her concern. The girl didn't respond, her brows were knit in what appeared to be pain. Cremia felt panic begin to flow through her veins. "Romani?!" She said louder shaking her harder.

She still didn't respond. "No..." she said softly to her self before bolting out the door, she didn't bother closing door as she quickly got dressed in the first thing she saw. The rain was still pelting against their home, which only seemed to add to her anxiety as she bolted to the door. She took a breath reading her self for the dash to the barn. after sloppily throwing on her boots she opened the door and was met by a blast of wind and rain, she pushed through and closed the door as the rain pelted against her face. She ran as quickly as she could realizing that with the wind the way it was she was going to get soaked no matter what she did. At the moment though, it was the least of her worries. She opened the barn door quickly, startling the animals though she paid them no heed. She moved to old Bill who was breathing a little quicker because of the storm. "Come on boy, we gotta go out." She whispered anxiously bridling him to pull him out to the wagon "Romani isn't doing well." The horse went with her, regardless of his uneasiness. Years of team work had made him trust her, if nothing else. She moved him to the door before stopping and checking the feed for the animals as the rain continued to pelt against the barn. Satisfied they all had enough food for at least the first part of the day she quickly moved back out into the pouring rain the need to milk the cows all but forgotten with her new found concern. Old Bill whined at the noise of the storm as she quickly hitched him up to the wagon parked at the side of the barn. She jogged back to the barn door then jumped onto the carriage, her adrenaline and fear pumping through her body. She was getting more concerned for Romani, she gave the reigns a quick whip and Old Bill whined and began pulling the essentially empty cart. The wagon offered Cremia a littler cover, but with the wind it proved almost fruitless as the cold wind and water pelted against her. As the wagon moved towards the gate she cursed her self for not grabbing a coat but she wouldn't turn around. She couldn't waste any time in her mind, the fear that pumped through her was pushing her to move. The sound of lighting and rain all but drowned out the creaky wagon as they pulled up to the gate. She jumped off almost tripping as she quickly opened the gate, and as if Bill knew the urgency he pulled forward without her prodding and stopped awaiting her. She slammed the gate shut causing her already cold hands to ache as she locked it. She ran to the wagon and whipped the reigns "Come on boy!" She pleaded as the rain grew louder, seeping already through her clothing. The Wagon rumbled as Old Bill pushed harder than their usual leisurely saunter, and seemed to notice they were going a different route.

The storm never let up for the hour journey to the witches hut just on the outskirts of the swamp. She wasted no time when they stopped in front of the shop as she quickly jumped off the wagon, as the rain dripped down her face and blew into her eyes. She climbed the ladder as the rain continued to pour down on her. She climbed up and moved for the door, but to her dismay it was locked. She pounded on it "HELLO?!" She yelled trying to be louder than the rain and wind "Please! I need your help!" She cried out pounding on the door. Her heart was pounding in her ears as she was met with silence. "no...please no.." She whimpered before pounding against the door again, she felt her breath hitch. Slowly she lowered her hand as she shivered with emotion and from the cold, she wanted to curl up in a ball. She took a ragged breath knowing she couldn't just give up. She moved around the shop noticing it was completely empty, as if no one had been there for a long time. She grit her teeth in frustration, before she climbed down in defeat. She only had one option and that was to head into town...another 2 hour ride in this weather.

She had to though, for Romani.

The old guard watched watched from the shelter of the gate as the area inside and outside the gate were completely void of people minus the few poor souls who had been caught in the storm or had to go out in it. He took a breath and sighed knowing it would he a slow boring day, but he was still intrigued who this red mare belonged to. He had never seen her before and she seemed to be quite the feisty girl. She was currently hugging the town wall, gaining a little shelter from the rain, but waited obediently. She wasn't tied up and yet she just waited, as if she had opted to just stay some what dry rather than getting wet. He scanned the horizon when something odd caught his eye. A very familiar wagon was moving towards the town, faster than normal. He wondered why the ranch was making a trip today and which one of the two sisters were crazy enough to do it. Then again, Cremia had just been in town...so why were they coming back today? He felt a slight hint of worry and tensed up slightly waiting for the wagon to get closer. As it got nearer he could tell it was Cremia once again, he left his shelter as the rain pelted against his armor and helmet As the girl approached, he noticed the frantic look on her face, instantly causing his worry to turn into fear. "Cremia!?" He called out as she pulled back on the regins, the poor old horse slowed them faster than he probably ever had to as she stumbled off. "Cremia!? Honey, what is wrong?" He called to her as she ran towards him, she was completely drenched concerning him even more.

"J-J-John!" She stuttered form both the cold and emotion "R-Romani...she...she got worse." She frantically.

The old guard felt his heart beat harder, but maintained a composed voice "Slow down dear, what happened?"

"Potion…." she said ignoring him "I need to get her potion." she moved around him, walking quickly to the gate

John blinked then nodded jogging up next to her then matching her pace "Come on, let's see if there is any in town."

She shivered "J-just watch the cart, I have to hurry..John she seemed to be getting better but today….she wouldn't even wake up." She said quickly as they moved past the gate.

John froze "hurry dear"

she nodded before running off as the rain pelted against her, he nodded she was hardly wearing suitable clothing for the weather causing him to worry about her just as much as he was worried about Romani.

She shivered as her body was feeling worse from riding in the terrible weather, but she couldn't stop she had to hurry. She could feel that if she didn't get back soon..Romani could…

She shook her head of the thought and moved down the stalls that littered west Clocktown, which was at least covered getting her out of the rain. Few stalls were even open which caused her dread to grow. She noticed there weren't a lot of people out, most of them bundled in cloaks. One cloaked figure stood in front of the "little hero store", she found it odd that he would be concerned with a toy with this weather. She noticed the general store had it's doors open so she marched in quickly, causing the shopkeeper's eyes to widen slightly at her disheveled and soaked appearance. She took some ragged breaths as she slowed down from her trot as she moved to the counter "Potion" she said dryly "do you have any?"

The man turned his ear slightly towards her soft voice before slowly shaking his head "sorry Miss, we are all out."

She froze "you...have none.." she asked in disbelief.

His brows furrowed with confusion at her state "I've..been out for a while.." He shrugged "We don't know why, but the witches have all but disappeared for the last month." He frowned "We've been out for weeks."

Cremia clenched her freezing hands as water dripped down her face, as her tears threatened to join them. She covered her face with one hand and clutched her side with the other trying not to break down in front of a stranger.

"Miss…?" The man asked slowly "is….is everything alright?"

She wanted to snap at him, to blame him, but she still had her reason…barley. She shook her head and pivoted quickly bumping into somebody. "Excuse me.." She whispered.

"Miss?" The figure spoke up, his voice was soft but low. "what are you looking for, maybe I can help you find it?….it looks like whatever you need is urgent"

She took a ragged breath and rubbed the sting of tears from her eyes before looking up. Sharp blue eyes were looking down at her, though he wore a travel worn cloak that covered his frame and head with a hood, he couldn't be short of twenty. She was desperate though "I..I need potion, red potion."

He frowned "I was in need of some my self" He murmured "But the other shops don't have any as well."

She clenched her teeth, as thunder rumbled the ground.

"Miss….if I may ask who is it for?" The stranger spoke up again.

She swallowed hard the lump that formed in her throat "M-My sister, Romani." His eyes flashed something, recognition? No, it couldn't be, she didn't know this man. "she is very sick"

"Will she last till morning?" He asked right to the point.

She hung her head "I...I don't know." Her own voice was weak.

He took a breath before looking to the side, the shopkeeper watching the odd scene with a raised eyebrow. "I…..I know this may sound..like a dangerous proposition." He said slowly "but I can help your sister."

She felt her heart hesitate as she paused for a moment "what?" she asked indigently "How?!" she hissed partly in disbelief and partly with a small hope that he could.

He glanced around "I..I can't say right here." he glanced around "I know this doesn't mean much from a..." He hesitated "Stranger, but...if you want help for her, you need you to trust me".

She decided to look him over more, though her eyes were constantly drawn back to his blue eyes. They seemed familiar but she didn't know why, hesitantly she nodded "Okay."

He nodded with a small smile "I promise I mean no ill will." He raised his hands with the gesture.

She motioned, just because she was desperate didn't mean she'd let her guard down, she wanted him to go first.

He smirked "I guess I can't expect you to completely trust me." he turned and began walking, she immediately noticed the form on his back.

"Y-You're armed?" it was more statement then a question.

He glanced back then gave a curt nod "Where are we going?"

She swallowed, goodness she hoped she knew what she was doing "E-East clocktown."

His face lit up before he turned around and started walking "ah, good that is where my horse is."

She blinked, was it that same red mare she saw at the gate? At the time she couldn't give it too much thought but that was the same mare that had "Broke" into her ranch. Just who was this guy?

They walked in silence back into the pouring rain causing her to shiver as the cold water whipped on her already soaking clothes. When they made it to the gate John glanced warily at the stranger before looking at her, his eyes instantly softening as he ran up to, his armor clanking the whole way. "Cremia! Did you find some?"

She shook her head "T-they're out. They've been out for weeks" she said shakily.

His face dropped as he muttered a curse and a heavy sighed left his lips "what….what are you going to do?"

She swallowed hard, he wasn't going to like this "this man..." she pointed slowly to the cloaked man who had stopped patiently by the gate giving them some space "is going to help me."

John's eyes widened, she knew it. "Cremia!" he hissed "Do you even know him?" he lowered his voice.

"N-no." she admitted "but, John he's the only hope I have at this point." she slowly let her eyes drift to the blue ones watching them

"how?" John asked the obvious question "how is he going to help her?"

"I..." her breath caught realizing he hadn't even told her how yet. "I don't know."

John huffed before glaring at the man, before he started marching over.

"J-John!?" Cremia called out, afraid of what he was going to do causing her to chase after him.

"you." he breathed out "what are you planning?"

the man blinked "planning?"

"How can you-…." John paused before taking off his helmet "w-wait, you look familiar." The man's eyes widened slightly in shock before they quickly returned to normal "have….have we met?" John asked, his entire demeanor changed.

The man shook his head with a dry laugh, it sounded forced "I..I get that a lot but I don't know that we have."

John blinked and looked him over "are you sure?"

The man shrugged "Maybe"

John frowned and took a deep breath "For some reason stranger you seem very familiar.." He paused in thought "I will trust you...you promise you won't do anything to this girl?"

Cremia felt her face warm up slightly in embarrassment and awkwardness before she quickly shook her head.

The man's face was serious though "by my honor I swear it."

"then why are you helping her?" John pushed

The man looked down "It's just what I do."

John cocked and eyebrow "You aren't expecting a reward?" He asked with disbelief.

He shook his head "I don't want anything sir, I swear...but I just don't like seeing people in pain."

The words caused both the girl and the guard to freeze, something rang so true and familiar from his words that they both dumbly nodded. The man quietly removed his worn cloak revealing a green tunic, with sword and shield attached. His white undershirt and pants, mixed with his blonde hair and sharp features were handsome, and his ears pointed out with small blue earrings attached. Before either could think about it more he moved to Cremia wrapping the cloak on her "here, you need this more than I."

John's face slowly softened and said something quietly to him self before he moved over "Thank you, whoever you are."

The man smiled a small smile "of course, now we need to hurry." he glanced at her.

She took a ragged breath, as the warm cloak helped keep the rain off her already soaked body. It smelt musky but almost homey...it reminded her of her father. She nodded and pulled the hood over the face as her heart ached for more reason than one.

John's eyes lingered on the man before he said softly to him self "You couldn't possibly be that boy…...could you?"

Neato, thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it and wanna see where this is gunna go - let me know!

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