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What's In A Name?

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It’s the eldest who gives his title.

Forge, as he would later be named because of his skills as a blacksmith, was the one who suggested nicknames. Saying that having a group of people with the same name would become confusing for everyone. It would save them a lot of grief later during battles.

He then adds with a haunted look in his eyes. It would also make for less awkward explanations to people who would see a group of similar-looking boys all running around with weapons. And also he would rather not experience someone trying to exorcise him again.

Nobody asked further, they accepted his wisdom without question.

Link didn’t mind, he was getting tired of mentally labeling them things like Sleepy Link, Snarky Link, or Short Link. He can imagine Impa giving him her patented that-is-unbecoming frown, with Princess Zelda standing behind her—covering her mouth to hide the smile threatening to form.

Any longer, he would have actually called them Sleepy, Snarky, Shorty, and whatever -y adjective he could think of.

This is why he usually let Proxi do the speaking.

Goddess, he misses her and her chirpy voice.

(He misses everyone.)

He’s getting sick of traveling through time and space. The first time was enough, thank you very much. He remembered little of it, the princess theorizing that with many of the events being undone and repaired—their memories of it also changed as well. But he remembered enough to know it was grueling and tiring and bone-weary (so many deaths, and for what?).

But he’ll deal with it. He was a soldier long before he was a hero, and he’s learned to adapt. And, well, they’re all technically the same person, he’s sure they can get along.

Anyways, names.

This was how they spent that night, sitting around the campfire and bouncing off name after name as they enjoyed the delicious stew that Cook Link made.

There were those that were easy. Kid Link immediately got dibs on Wind, saying since he was the Hero of Wind, it felt fitting to have that name. He then declared that Oldest Link (he never asked for his age, he just feels so much older than any of them) should be Time, as he was the Hero of Time.

The newly christened Time accepted the name without any fuss, tilting his head in acknowledgment. “I’ve had worse.”

Snarky Link had shrugged and declared himself as Legend, simple as that (and that didn’t sound pretentious at all).

The others weren’t as straightforward. Sleepy Link refused to be named Chosen, and Simple Link said being called Hyrule felt weird. Cook Link didn’t have a title at all.

“Well, what other traits do we have?” Short Link asks. “What makes us different?”

“I sailed with pirates!” Wind exclaims.

“You already have a name.”

“Oh, right.”

And so it became a game to find an all encompassing word to describe them. Many were extravagant, others silly. There was enough laughter to warm the camp (he even saw Time quirk his lips at some suggestions). It reminded Link of the rare moments of rest him and the soldiers had after days of non-stop battle.

Druid Link was given Twilight because of how much he always loved watching that time of the day. Cook Link was Wild because of how adaptable he was in nature. Sleepy Link was satisfied with Sky. And Simple Link said he was fine with Jack.

Then came him.

One would think it would be easy to find a name for him.

“He could be Knight?” Wind thinks, face scrunched up in a manner that was way too adorable for a teen. “He’s a knight, after all.”

“So is Time,” Forge points out. “And probably a few others.”

“I say pomp,” Legend suggests. “Or narcissist, or ooh-” he snaps his fingers and grins. “Scarf.”

“I’m not above strangling you,” he comments amiably.

“Careful, wouldn’t want to break any nails doing that, would we?”

“Violently,” he adds.

“Something to do with tools?” Wind tries again. “He has a lot.”

Legend snorts.

“How about Realm?” Forge adds. “You said you traveled through different worlds, that must have been interesting.”

He thinks of the blood, the dead bodies scattered around—painting the land red. The screams of help. The mental clock ticking as he runs and fights, and fights and runs. The despair of arriving too late to save his men.

The constant fear of losing.

The laughter of a mad (lonely) woman.

Proxi’s frantic screams for aid when he was too tired and wounded to push further.

“Eh, got old after a while.” He shrugs. “You see one magic fortress, you see them all. Hard pass.”

“Picky.”

“You really don’t have the right to say that, Legend.”

And before the teen could make a retort, someone gives another name.

“Warrior,” Time says quietly, giving him a thoughtful look. “Yours was a journey of battle, I remember that much.”

That makes all of the Links look in surprise.

He blinks. “We’ve met?”

Time smiles, his single eye gleaming with amusement. “It was a long time ago, for me anyway,” he says. “It took me a while to remember you, time can be a bit," he waves his hand in a so-so gesture. "I’m sure you're aware of that.”

What?

His mind whirls into overdrive, churning thought after thought to figure out what the man means. It’s hard to remember specifics. He’d met a ton of other people when fighting against Cia’s forces. But Time was a Link, and besides the Dark Links, there had been one...

The marks on Time’s face niggle at the back of his mind, the ocarina on his hip. And he-

Argues with Impa on letting a kid into a battlefield. He doesn’t care if he’s an incarnation of him, he could be one of the golden goddesses reborn and he’d still say no.

He can fight!”

So can we!” He snarls. They’ve allowed many people to be their allies, but he draws a line. He has to. “How low can we get, to make children fight our battles?”

And then he-

Gives Princess Zelda (not Zelda, not Sheik, not anymore) the silent treatment for days. Lana is treating the kid’s wounds, speaking to him in a language that reminds him of the rustling of leaves in a forest.

He tells Proxi to stick with the kid until they can get him home. The kid looks ready to cry when the fairy introduces herself.

And he says-

Kid, you don’t need a stupid mask to be strong,” he holds the shortsword the kid always had. “You have a perfectly good weapon here.”

There’s mumbling.

Let me tell you something, any sword can be strong as long as you got courage,” he pats the boy’s head. “And you got that in spades.”

“You’re Young Link?!” He points at Time, mouth opening and closing like a fish. Wind repeats the two words in disbelief, Legend raises his eyebrow, and Twilight chokes on his own spit.

Time laughs. “I did say I had worse names.”