There was a lightness in the air. Pink petals rode a spring breeze that passed through her hair as she sat, peaceful as the wind ran its fingers through silk curtains. Zelda lingered in the archway, eyes distant as she stared out into Castle Town. Music sang throughout the plains and mountains as her people worked happily down below. Her arms were crossed, breathing steady as she felt the soothing breeze on her skin.

"Another good day," Doctor Borville commented from his seat behind her, the sound of his pen scratching against his notebook grabbing her attention.

She focused on her breathing, in and out, three seconds and five. "I have my moments," She turned around to gaze into the study, the old man setting his red quill down with a huff.

"You're significantly better than you were last year," He reached behind him to snatch a common children's toy from his desk, a small glass hand boiler. "I was afraid your condition would have gotten worse, considering..."

She smiled, "Warrior's Heart is not curable, only manageable. It has good and bad days; praise Hylia the distance between the two are becoming longer and longer."

"Yes," He mumbled, beady orbs focused on the bubbling green liquid, "Well, my check-up is done. I know you have a busy schedule today, you are welcome to leave."

She smirked, thanking him briefly as she headed for the door. Before she could reach it, the knob began to shake violently, a familiar sight causing her to pause as it swung open. Professor Edwyn stood, arms full and hair untidy, with knit brows and a deep frown. He groaned, "So many damn papers to grade– Oh! Your Majesty, I did not know you were here!"

Without a word, she reached out to help remove a few books from his leaning tower of knowledge, the old man nodding in thanks as he rushed to set them down with a huff. Papers and pencils went flying, and he rubbed his curled back with a grimace.

"Class is back in session, I see," She commented, gathering the flung materials.

"Very much so, and with an overwhelming amount of students. Seems that reading the ethnography I wrote under Lelian's name has inspired a new wave of potential anthropologists. Opening the College was an excellent idea, Your Majesty." He began to skim a few pages, sometimes cringing and other times appearing rather impressed.

Zelda hummed, "It is what Fuana would have wanted. I hate to cut our meeting short; however –"

Professor Edwyn beamed with minor embarrassment, "Don't let me keep you, I know what today is."

She nodded, patting him on the arm before heading for the door. Yes, today was a busy one; busy in the most satisfying way. She ran her gloved hand along the stone wall as she descended recently swept stairs, two working girls stopping the sway of their dusters to bow as she passed. The wide castle halls were littered with the still-healing scars of winter; even after a year, the building moaned and groaned at the memories shadows left behind. Rooms appeared different, wooden beams and marble pillars marked with the memory of raging fires and enemy blades. She walked amongst them without hesitation, for each wound of the past was partnered with healing in the present.

"Your Majesty!" A familiar voice bounced off the walls of the foyer, sunlight pooling in from the tall window behind her. She glanced out into the room, eyes catching on vases filled with spring flowers, fine tapestries hanging from the ceilings, and then finally settling on three figures.

She approached them with a joyful smile, arms outstretched as she greeted, "Sir Shad, Lady Ashei, and Mayor Bo, what a pleasant surprise."

Shad spoke again, "Glad we caught we caught you when we did. I rushed over as soon as my lecture was finished, but I feared I would be too late."

"I have a few minutes to spare," She turned to Ashei whose arm was wrapped around her husband's shoulder, "How are you, old friend?" Zelda touched her hand briefly, watching as the warrior lit up at the indication she was being spoken to.

Ashei lifted her head, foggy orbs unseeing as they lingered atop the Hylian's hair. She smirked, the scar alongside her cheek wrinkling slightly with a laugh, "Better. Actually, life's been pretty peaceful."

Zelda hummed, "I am happy to hear that."

She was blind.

The Bulblin's mighty club had hit her in just the right spot, knocking the vision out of her with a fateful blow, even as she valiantly fought in her own darkness. Ashei described it as a long and arduous battle, keeping as much detail as she could, despite the memory growing more and more faint with each passing moon. It was a blessing in disguise, she would say while recovering, hands clasping her husband's palms as she cried. She was free of some unknown burden, mouth in a constant smile as she whispered about the unsung joys of her newfound life. She was retired, although she was still sharp as ever to point out any and all odd sounds with the slash of her still-useful blade. Ashei smiled at being a scholar's wife, Shad finally coming before any army.

"Do you still have those cakes from last week?" The black-haired woman sniffed about, head coaxed in the direction of the kitchen.

"Honey!" Shad blushed.

"The ones from Rusl and Uli's vow renewal? I do not believe so; however, the palace baker is in the process of many new treats for our visitors." Zelda called on a passing maid to lead her friends to the dining area.

Ashei laughed, "They're back? Has a whole season really passed this quickly?"

The couple followed the worker, Mayor Bo standing with a wrinkled paper in his hand and a toothy smile. His mustache curled happily, eyes shimmering as he announced, "I received another letter from Ilia!"

The woman beamed, eagerly taking the paper as he handed it to her, two pictographs cradled neatly beside it. The sepia photos revealed a smiling Ilia, the first showing her atop the back of a regal pony, dressed in fine clothes yet orbs radiating the quaint simplicity of her home. Proudly, she wore an Ordonian charm around her neck, Prince Harod grinning on a mustang beside her. On her head was a shining circlet, for a queen, and Zelda chuckled as she saw the slip of a bare foot beneath her skirts.

The next photo was even more candid, close angle implying Harod was the one who took it while trying to be a part of it himself. The top of his head made an appearance, but Ilia was the star. She was blushing as she watched him, a song of love on the songbird's lips as she seemed to be speaking to him lovingly, her hands busy writing the very letter Zelda now quickly read.

"She sounds very happy," Zelda commented, the diction and quick strokes of the pen showing excitement.

"The King and Queen of Neighsdon are very good in-laws, she's even said that they listen to her more than they do Harod," Mayor Bo chuckled.

Zelda was pleased, thankful that Ilia wrote as often as she did. Her and Harod did Hyrule a great service when they arrived in Neighsdon; without hesitation, the Prince fought for the support of Hyrule in its time of need, Ilia being the greatest ambassador in their land's history as she stood her ground. Hyrule's recovery wouldn't have been so smooth had it not been for the aid of Neighsdon, and with the Companions Convention fulfilled, they ushered in a new era of allyship.

"I am excited to announce that we have scheduled a visit for the Royal Family of Neighsdon in the summer," Zelda handed the paper back to him, sunlight catching on fine words and memories yet to come.

"To see my daughter after a year," He sighed, "You have made my spring, Your Majesty."

She heard the ding of a grandfather clock and jumped, heart pounding as time marched on. She clasped her hands, "I do not wish to cut this short; however, I am on a schedule."

"Of course! Don't let me keep you waiting!"

"Many thanks, Mayor Bo."

He bowed, "Thank you, Queen Zelda."

She tried not to run, but the ticking clocks made her feel the urge to sprint in rhythm. Her heart pounded, the winding halls and corridors seemingly never-ending. She turned a corner and was greeted by the sound of exasperation.

"Wrong!" slithered out from beneath a door, shaking the earth with the fear of an angry woman. Zelda knew she was in the right place, feeling heat radiate through the wood as she touched the door.

"You didn't study, did you!" Impaz accused from the other side, the Hylian struggling to muffle her laugh as she stepped inside. Auru was standing in the corner, almost cowering as the small Sheikah elder lashed at his pupil. She was standing on a chair, ruler in hand as her cotton ball strands puffed with consistent scolding.

Her victim starred in wide-eyed shock, beads of sweat dripping down his brow as he struggled to fix his paper sloppily. Impaz continued, "If you want to marry Queen Zelda and become a useful husband then you need to learn the ways of this world!"

Zelda was still, the golden sunlight pooling into the room like a renaissance painting, landing on his soft form as his expression grew serious. He glowed within it, eyes like the sky hard with thought as his parted lips slowly spoke like moving poetry. Hair as gold as wet sand was combed and kept, brows knit with contemplation as his calloused hands glided over the paper. The smell of freshly cut grass embraced her senses.

"I hate to interrupt," Zelda chimed, "But I need him."

Link perked up at the sound of her voice, mouth curling into an ardor-filled smirk as he saw her, sky meeting the ocean as they held each other's gaze. Impaz scoffed, "You keep pulling him away from his studies and he'll never learn."

She laughed, "I will privately tutor him, do not worry."

Her nursemaid put her hands on her hips and huffed, "Uh-huh? I saw you two in the library earlier, he was not studying the ancient language."

The two burned a deep red, Zelda rushing over to pet the woman on the head with an uncomfortable laugh. "I promise to bring him back after I use him."

Impaz leered at her and then Link, leaning forward before patting him softly on the cheek with a smile. "Have fun deary, you're doing great."

He made a face, not really believing her. Zelda gifted him her hand, eyes glancing to the door in an obvious rush. He nodded, walking alongside her as he eased the wrinkles from his tunic. They headed for their quarters, their hands clasped together lovingly. He squeezed her fingers in thanks, promising he was giving it his all.

"Do not worry, love," She soothed his anxieties with a glance, "I do not mind waiting. Take your time, we will be wed when the Gods will it."

"It'll probably take years at my pace," He groaned.

She took his hand in hers and smiled, "Then it takes years. And every single day of those years will be spent with us together. I do not need a signature to prove my bond with you, love, the spirits know I have chosen you."

He nodded, opening the door to Zelda's chamber as he waited for her to enter. Their attire for the evening was waiting to be worn, the Queen removing her pauldrons as she approached the center of the room.

The mirror was never kind, but she was slowly learning to regard it as a friend again. She stared at her reflection, hand covering her bare chest as she ran her gaze over the starburst scar on her abdomen and the carving in her thigh. Beauty, she forced herself to only see beauty. The starburst had become the blooming rose of a reformed Hyrule, the upside down Triforce a reminder of what they were fighting for. She straightened her back, lifted her chin and exhaled proudly, taking the chemise from her dresser and slipping it over her head gracefully.

She began to change into more casual attire, retiring jewels and large skirts for walking wear and easy movements. She buttoned up a blue linen shirt, gold corset hugging her waist as an accessory more than a device. Her arms slipped into the sleeves of a floral robe with spirals of honey-colored thread along the bottom, fabric fanning at her feet. Two strong arms wrapped around her waist lovingly, Link's summery lips placing butterfly kisses along her neck with a hum. Zelda giggled, "Link, please, they will be here any minute."

"They waited all winter, what is two more hours?" He mumbled into her skin.

She laughed, turning to face him with a raised brow. He released her, hands touching his chest as he feigned the pain of being shot with an arrow, his ego deflated. She rolled her eyes, shooting him a flirtatious smile that promised reimbursement at a later time. The blond man beamed at the idea, removing his shirt eagerly. She grabbed his washed tunic and set it on the bed for him to take, pausing as the sight of pink flesh caught her eyes.

They were twins, his abdomen blossomed and scarred like hers. If they stood in front of one another, their wounds would've been mirror images of each other. Two sides of the same coin – one cannot exist without the other. She absorbed the sight with tender eyes, the cold memory of winter haunting her.

Wait three days, and if he doesn't wake up, then you know I failed you…


She wouldn't let him finish, her embrace knocking the wind out of him as she held him close, listening to his beating heart and basking in the heat of his glow. She hadn't lost him, not again, and she would praise the Gods every day because of it.

"Darling?" She whispered, glancing up and into his sky blue orbs. Her hand wandered up to cup his cheek, thumb rubbing beneath his eye lovingly.

His expression softened; gingerly, he touched her back. "Yes, my Queen?" He whispered, a shadow passing over his eyes as he tilted his head to get a better look at her.

"I love you. " She would never tire of speaking such true words.

He smiled a great toothy grin, "I love you too."

It had felt like a millennium since they had last tasted one another, their kiss an explosion of passionate rose petals in the blazing sun.

There was fanfare intermingled with the caw of large birds above. Link and Zelda standing at the entrance of the castle with an excited hum, their faces still pink like the flowers growing in their courtyard. The gates began to open, the Queen and her knight approaching slowly to meet their visitors halfway.

A loud shout of joy pulled the corners of their mouths into smiles as Raerani came into view, waving her arm at them happily. Nosef blushed beside her, calm and collected per usual as she held a bundle in her arms.

"Sav'otta sister Zelda!" Raerani sang.

"Vasaaq, happy to see you have made another safe trip, my dear sisters," She responded, hugging the two deeply. The couple stood tall, clothing no longer the navy of guard work, but a deep magenta of upper living. They were adorned with Kargaroc feathers and black gems, hair loose yet organized – at some angles, Nosef even resembled her mother.

"Hyrule is even more beautiful than it was last spring," Nosef commented, hand reaching up to unravel the bundle slightly, "We are here, young dorf, time to wake."

A mighty small yawn erupted from the fabric, a tiny face appearing from within the folds. Zeldadorf's eyes fluttered open, mouth widening into a yawn to reveal a few pearly white teeth. A thin black veil hid his face, his large golden eyes piercing through the silk as he stared at the Hylians. A bubbling laughter accompanied his light squirming as he snaked one hand out to grasp at Zelda. His Triforced hand reached for the two, Nosef setting him down softly.

Queen Zelda watched in amusement as he seemed capable of holding himself into a stand, chubby legs wobbling slightly as he held onto his aunt's index fingers. A head of curly copper strands bounced with energy as he fully awakened, spirit coming to life like a burning fire.

"Do you remember me, little King?" Zelda cooed, kneeling down with a grin.

"My precious vure, would you mind taking him, my arms are tired," Nosef implored Raerani to switch places with her as the child began to walk, one foot after the other, swaying side to side as he relied on his other aunt for support.

He began to babble, "Da..da..da.." as he inched closer.

"Is he trying to say my name?" Zelda questioned, Raerani nodding with a laugh.

"It is as if he remembers spending last spring here. Since the moment the Kargarocs started migrating to Hyrule, he has been muttering Ze and da. He is so smart!" Zeldadorf continued swaying forward as Raerani's eyes glittered with pride. When the child was close enough, he released Raerani's finger, launching himself into Zelda's embrace. She gasped, holding him tightly in her arms as she stood, planting him onto her hip.

"Do you really remember us, little one?" She ran her fingers through his hair as he clapped and pretended to hold a conversation with them. Link leaned in, playing peekaboo for a moment with the young King.

"Ink!" Zeldadorf shouted, closing his eyes dramatically, leaning forward with the request of being held by the hero. Link smirked, knowing exactly what the child wanted as he reached into his shirt, producing a horse-grass flute. The Gerudo boy squealed with joy and took it happily, blowing and nibbling on the instrument as the adults spoke.

"His eyes," The Queen hummed, "They are so tranquil and knowing. He looks so much like Igesu."

Nosef nodded, her eyes growing distant, but serene, "He is very much like his mother… I know she smiles down on her son alongside the Sand Goddess and Dinaria. She would have wanted him to spend time in Hyrule."

"Our kingdom is honored to have Gerudo welcomed into our communities, him being here even for just a season or two will help strengthen our people's bonds. How are the deserts, anyways?" Zelda bounced the King on her hip.

Raerani held Nosef's hand as she spoke, "Very well sister, returning to the sand of our ancestors has been enlightening, to say the least. We thank you again for keeping your promise and lifting our exile."

Nosef happily added, "We have been able to rebuild our temple and sanctuaries once thought to be lost forever. Ancient cities that homed our people have even been discovered."

Link gasped, "That's great!"

"And Sabooru?" The monarch inquired, "How is she?"

"Mother is doing great. She has taken over Igesu's role as Head Priestess; although she does dabble with ruling here and there, she prefers Raerani and I do the leading. She would rather be a grandmother than a mother to her grandson, and I do not blame her. She trusts you, as she does us."

Zelda looked to Zeldadorf and rubbed his velvety cheek with the back of her finger. "Are you excited to spend another spring with us? We have a lovely little bedroom for you, filled with new toys and soft pillows."

He giggled with excitement, as if he understood exactly what she described.

"I fear you may get bored here after too long," She frowned, the others eyeing her with confusion, "No child likes to play alone." The Gerudo King even paused, turning his head as she placed a thoughtful finger on her chin. "What do you think," She whispered loudly, "About having a little friend to play with next spring?"

The women gasped in unison, Link placing a hand on her shoulder with a grunt. His eyes were wide as he swallowed hard, unsure what she meant by her statement. Zelda continued, "They will be much smaller than you though, little one, but they will eventually be big and strong like you."

The child wiggled and laughed with joy at the idea, Link turning her around to face him with cheeks white as snow. Nosef slowly took Zeldadorf from her arms, silent with disbelief alongside the hero who seemed to be shaking.

"Z-Zelda…" He trailed off.

"However, it is up to your uncle Link whether not we wish to even try to make this a reality. What do you think, my love?" She smiled, "Should we try for a baby?"

He swallowed hard, a goofy grin forming on his face. "A-Are you sure?"

She lowered her eyes and batted long lashes, "I will eventually need an heir in the future, and being Hylian, we have a minor disadvantage. Why not start trying now? Even if we don't succeed by next spring, we will enjoy the attempts."

Link's face erupted with red as he lifted her up into the air and twirled her around, the Gerudo cheering them on with words of well wishes in their native tongue. He kissed her, his joy overflowing between their lips as he couldn't stop smiling against her. She felt it in her bones, this was right, she was exactly where she needed to be.

She danced away, blushing as she glanced at her visitors that watched with knowing smiles. "We still have the festival, darling, we should probably get going."

"Right," He blushed.

"We better head for the plaza, sister Zelda," Nosef leaned against Raerani's shoulder. The couple nodded, lacing their hands together as they walked toward the wooden gate. The sound of music and people chatting was like a symphony of dreams, the stone streets filled with people of every corner and cloth. Gerudo chatted with Zora, Gorons ate alongside humans, Hylian children running alongside mixed and mingling couples. Spring petals danced on the breeze, carrying the scent of baked goods and the songs of love and growth.

Telma and Shaman Renado were seen within the crowd, the woman wrapped around his arm as they shared a pastry together. Zelda laughed to herself, the group pausing as the Ordonian kids zoomed past. King Ralis waved at them from beside the water fountain, Regis sparing a surprising smile alongside Earl Kemp who seemed to be retelling the valor of battle to a group of newly graduated guards.

She glanced to the side and noticed Counselor Fane and his usually-reserved self walk through the crowd nervously, Shad and Ashei appearing out of nowhere as they seemed to jokingly harass him over funds for the college.

"The statues came out great," Link commented, pulling her attention away from the humorous sight and onto stone statues that rested along the wall. Naru, Fuana, and Dinaria stood as golden memories, sculpted faces forever remembered to be smiling. Professor Edwyn stood at the foot of his daughter's likeness, Skull Kid popping in and out of the shadows to place acorns and leaves at her feet. She was shown reading a book, glasses low on her face and expression focused as she courageously searched for knowledge.

Dinaria was shown dancing, the artist making her the most animated of the trio as her gaze implored you to seize your dreams with the strength of a thousand powerful flames. Nosef and Raerani approached, closing their eyes as they prayed among themselves before offering floral cactus fruit.

Zelda was face-to-face with Naru's likeness, button nose upturned like her wise smile as she seemed to excitedly greet her visitors. "Hello, little one," Zelda greeted her child, Link tightening his grip on her hand. "I am glad you're here with us for the festival, too. I have been meaning to return this to you," Zelda summoned a small lyre and placed it in her open hands, patting the rock gently, "Thank you, all three of you. Until we meet again, little ones."

It was a reminder that their Gods had once lived alongside them to understand their mortal strife; their faces bringing comfort to those whose life they touched. Link guided her away, Impaz shouting for the two to join the festivities. Zelda whispered a final prayer before allowing herself to be whisked away, the couple coming face to face with a crowd of childish eyes. Kids of varying ages sat in the square with stars in their orbs, waiting for the annual storytelling.

Link scratched the back of his neck, Telma hollering from the distance for them to start. Zelda laughed, her love still uncomfortable with speaking. "Would you like for me to start?" She inquired.

He nodded, expression warm like the summer sun.

"Good morning, children. Today we will be retelling an exciting tale. One known as the Legend of the Hero of Shadows –"

Link cut in, waving his hands at her to stop. She raised a thin brow, her love whispering, "I think it should have a better name, how about the Legend of Zelda?"

She wrinkled her nose in disagreement, "That sounds a bit narcissistic, it was not just me that conquered Demise."

"Neither was I," Link argued.

Impaz chimed from the colorful cloud of eager faces, "How about the Legend of the Rose?"

The couple exchanged glances and nodded. It was a fitting title for their tale of light and shadow, a mosaic of shards woven with the threads of fate. The sun and rose were no longer alone; now they drew comfort from one another, a natural comfort surrounded by those they loved. A world of balance and new beginnings. Queen Zelda cleared her throat again, "Anyways, our story begins with a princess, and a rancher…"

The End.

Sadly our story has come to an end, and this is my final message to you all. Thank you to everyone who has read this story, and joined me in this amazing journey of completing my passion project. This is my final fanfiction, and soon I will be beginning my first original original novel. Fanfiction was what introduced me to writing, and life long friends. It has a special place in my heart, and I am so grateful for all I have learned through this medium. I love you all, and hopefully I've made you proud.

Special thanks to SunnyAirisu222, my best friend and mentor, who spent many hours just listening to me ramble and plan for this story. Without you, none of this would be possible. Love you.

Stay safe friends, love you all, and stay hydrated.