Nabooru could never sit still. Even when she was a little girl, she was constantly exploring the fringes of the desert rather than attending lessons that her mother, the chief of the Gerudo, insisted she learn. Other girls had chores to do, but Nabooru had duty. She learned to hate the word 'duty'. The other Gerudo respected her skill with the horse and bow and swords, her ability to walk the desert, even as the elders talked down to her as Zara's wayward daughter, too willful to ever be a proper chief, even when this was the time when a boy-chid was being raised to be King.
Maybe if she'd paid attention to her mother's lessons, she could have persuaded with words and guile when Ganondorf had first started speaking of leaving the desert, to go claim the green fields of Hyrule. Nabooru was a woman of the desert; any Gerudo could leave the Valley to visit Hyrule, even if it would never be their country. Why forsake their home for Ganondorf's dreams? Especially when she heard rumors of Ganondorf's methods -- diving into sorcery that even their witches and shamans shunned. Except for his mothers, Koume and Kotake, who must have taught him.
Maybe, but Zara's wayward daughter, Gerudo desert warrior, the Sage of Spirit was the woman the goddesses made her; so she instead tried to oppose Ganondorf on a field she understood.
… The less said about that, the better. Nabooru was glad she helped defeat Ganondorf, but she would have liked to have been the Hero, rather than one of seven Sages.
Especially since being a Sage was nothing but duty and boredom after the battle ended.
The seven of them had settled into the Temple of Light. Nabooru could return to the Spirit Temple with a thought and a trip down a hallway, but there was nothing there for her -- she'd still have to cross the desert to rejoin her sisters, many of whom weren't sure any more which side she was on, or whether her actions helped or hurt the Gerudo.
Still, it was better than stalking the empty corridors, or trying to make conversation with the other Sages. Saria was a child, even if she was probably the oldest of all of them. The Princesses Zelda and Ruto had made friends, and included Saria in their activities, with Impa standing silent watch over her charge. Rauru seemed to have made his peace with their job, and had no patience for a Gerudo woman. Of them, Nabooru liked Darunia the Goron the best, if only as a sparring partner.
After days in the Sacred Realm, Nabooru decided she was going to go stir-crazy if she didn't find outside. So, she set out to locate the door and see what this place looked like.
Eventually her wanderings within the temple led her to what had to be the entrance hall. It was made of the same glowing blue rock as the rest of the temple, but there were honest-to-goodness windows high in the chambers, sending beams of golden light to the floor.
She stood in the first one and basked in the light, wondering whether it was really the Sun, or some aspect of the three Goddesses' blessing. She almost didn't notice the sound of footsteps on the stone, and she turned to face the source.
Impa nodded. "It seems the Gerudo have some skill; most people would never have sensed my approach."
Nabooru returned the greeting. "Shouldn't you be tagging after the princess?" Not that she understood why, except for some desire to make up for being unable to follow Zelda around for seven years while the princess had been doing her level best to fight a one-woman holding action against Ganondorf in disguise.
Nabooru could understand making up for lost time. If she could, she'd go back to the Valley and help her people fix the damage Ganondorf caused. But Zelda didn't need a bodyguard.
Well, why couldn't she? She was still the leader of the Gerudo. And, hell, if they had accepted the Hero of Time, they could accept the Sage of Spirit. Maybe it would pull the old women's heads out of their asses and make them realize how dumb it had been to follow Ganondorf just because a male Gerudo only came along once in a century.
She hadn't heard Impa's answer, but she nodded to the other Sage anyway. "I'm heading out."
"Are you now?" Impa said. "I wasn't aware your duties as a Sage called you."
"My home calls me," Nabooru said. "And my people. And seeing something other than temple walls."
"Does Rauru know you're leaving? Or the princess?"
"It's a short trip," Nabooru said. "I'll be back before either realizes I'm gone. Besides, somehow I doubt there will be a vital crisis that requires the Sage of Spirit. Since, you know, there hasn't been much of anything since Ganondorf was defeated."
Impa folded her arms and stepped into the center of the room. As a way of blocking the door it was ridiculous. As a symbolic gesture, it was clear. "Return with the princess's permission, and I will let you pass."
Nabooru made a frustrated sound. "You are aware that you're neither my mother nor my boss, aren't you?" She considered, took a couple of steps back into the building…
… then turned around, attempting to leap over Impa. The Sheikah woman might have expected a dart to either side, but surely not something over the top.
Surely so. Impa dropped down and aimed a deku nut at Nabooru. The Gerudo woman quickly drew her swords, hoping to deflect the nut rather than let it shatter, releasing its paralyzing flash dust.
She landed in a roll, shaky from the deku nut, and sheathed her swords. "That was uncalled for. What is your problem?"
"Do you really think, Nabooru, that you can go back to your life as if nothing happened? Most of the Gerudo do not know what to make of you. Your presence could cause a civil war between factions for and against him."
"Most of the Gerudo don't know I spent seven years brainwashed to follow Ganondorf," Nabooru said. "And most of them followed Ganondorf because he was the king. Duty, you know. I want to set the record straight, and make sure we have a successor lined up. Aveil's good, but I want to judge her intentions. I want to prevent another war, not start one. I'm sure your Zelda and Princess Ruto and hell, probably Darunia have the same problem. This whole 'Sage' thing decapitated all the societies that Ganondorf didn't manage to finish off."
The Kokiri still had their tree… thing, the Zora had Ruto's father, and Hyrule had local government in their villages, but leaving the sages here to guard against other intrusions just meant the entire area was scrambling to find new leadership.
"And you wish me to believe that you wish to restore the Gerudo in a way that will not threaten Hyrule, and do not wish to trouble the princess on the matter?"
"And get the wind in my hair and the sand under my feet," Nabooru admitted. "You can't tell me you like being stuck here."
"I go where the Princess does. I was sworn to her side. If that means staying here, so be it."
"But what do you want?" Nabooru said. "You can't tell me that working for the Hylian Royal Family surgically removed everything else from your life."
"Of course not. I founded Kakariko Village as a haven for whatever remains of the Sheikah. And I have searched for the remains of my people."
"But what do you do to unwind?" Nabooru said. "Do you really find that fun, or just rewarding?" She understood the difference -- care for her tools was rewarding. Climbing was rewarding. Patience could be rewarding when it paid off. But the Sheikah were scattered to the four corners of the Earth if they still lived; it would be damn unsatisfying to look for them and never find them. Nabooru would need a better hobby than that.
"You know," Nabooru said, grinning, "why don't you come with me and I can show you how to have a good time?" It hadn't meant to come out with a bit of innuendo, but, dammit that was another thing she had missed being stuck under Ganondorf's control. And, while, in the old days, she'd visited Hyrule and 'looked for a boyfriend' as some of the locals called it, she also didn't mind staying home. A desert woman and a green woman. She idly wondered which Impa was, if Impa even thought about that. Or if getting laid might improve the Sheikah's mood.
"My place is here," Impa said stiffly, "with the Princess."
"The Princess doesn't mind if her bodyguard takes a evening off once in a while."
Nabooru turned. Zelda was standing there, looking amused. Out of the corner of her eye, Impa bowed. "I must be losing my edge," Nabooru said. "First Impa catches me by surprise, now you?"
"Impa did guide me in the ways of the Sheikah," Zelda answered. "Between that and the other Sages, I believe I will not suffer if you two wish to return to the world for an evening. And Nabooru?"
"You may be right; we do need to tie up the loose ends we left, whatever we do." She frowned. "While you and Impa are above, keep your ears out to see who might be moving to step into the places of power. If you could head somewhere in Hyrule itself to learn the gossip-"
"I could read the stones instead of going carousing," Impa answered.
"Or you could do both," Zelda answered. "Make sure Nabooru makes it home, if you like."
Nabooru chuckled. "I can hold my liquor, Princess. Don't worry."
Impa bowed again. "Very well, Princess. Sage of Spirit?"
"I know a couple of places. I haven't been there since Ganondorf took over, so let's hope at least one is still there. Come on, I'll show you."
In the end, Nabooru did get a crash course in soldier gossip about which nobles might be ready to cause trouble, and learned that Impa could drink her under the table if she let her, since Impa tipsy looked a lot like Impa sober. Duty kept her from going home with any of the soldiers who were interested, even after seven years of associating Gerudo with the dark king of Hyrule. Some people never quite developed sense after all.
Instead, she walked back to a clear spot, leaning on Impa's arm. Mostly for balance. "See? Not so bad?"
Impa had a slight smile. "Indeed. Perhaps we shall have to continue such scouting."
"I didn't know you liked bars, Impa," Nabooru said. "Have you found an actual hobby?"
Impa shrugged. "Perhaps it was just the company. It is my custom to practice the sword early in the morning. If you'll join me."
"Sure thing," Nabooru said. "If you'll show me some of your moves, I'll show you mine."
"I would be delighted."