Blue is a curious color.
Associated with goodness and light, defined by the depths of oceans and rivers and the hues of the day’s sky, sheathed into the earth and spread through the civilizations of humanity, blue speaks of stability and wisdom. The color of heaven and of peace, its soft fingers yearn for a world of tranquility and safety and reminisces younger times. It glints in the eyes of fair-haired Hylians and legendary heroes, sparkling inquisitively as it watches the world in wait.
It is the color of the sky outside when he awakens and exits the treehouse, when he leaves the place he called home and enters a new expansive world beyond his reclusive hideaways in the forest. It is the color of her eyes when she spins startled and greets him lax, praises rolling off of her tongue, of the streams that gently circled them together and guided him to places she asked him to go. It is the color that steadily pushes him to the surface of the Great Lake and assists him in liberating the beloved daughter of a great race, that grants him access to continuing his adventure for her. It is the color of the light that protects him when he pulls the Legendary Sword from the stone and the Black King dives in to take everything from him, and he blacks out.
When he wakes up, it is not the color of his eyes.
They are the color of the desert sunset and power, of danger and love. They demand satisfaction unlike the words brought forth from his masked mouth and yet gently they guide him so to trials to follow forth to the end of his quest. His desperate desire to unveil the face that watches his from shadows and the eyes that so cleverly bounce and weave through his touch and blink out before he can realize that they have disappeared. So he waits for the next time he will see those eyes again. He reaches out to the mysterious shadows but to no avail, but only to grab blindly for swinging ash vines or rushed cool air against his fingers teasing him for how tantalizingly close he was to his goal.
When he finally defeats the sorceress sisters of the last temple, he returns to the place where those eyes first guided him to the places to go, similar to the blue streams once wrapping around her seven years ago. They are present, shadowing the face and the body of the person who so longingly wishes to fight alongside and unwrap, the only friend he had, accompanying and guiding him all throughout the quest. But this time, his eyes are a lot different. They have become a storm of blood, hesitant to drown him in those sharp bitter eyes. They held a darkness, sorrow and regret gathering up in blue tears below the bright scarlet irises of his and - suddenly they are gone.
Those beautiful, dangerous eyes are not red.
They are blue, and they belong to her.
Something inside him breaks, his fragile corrupted heart, horror, and shock filling him up to the brim of his entire being. Her eyes are still so blue and sorrowful, but not for him, not like his eyes. His eyes pleaded silent forgiveness and a deep affection that they both shared and returned for each other and they are nothing like hers. Nothing can replace his eyes.
“It is I the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda,” she says softly, delicately as if not to wake the beast within him. “I apologize for meeting you in disguise, but it was necessary to hide from the King of Evil. Please forgive me…” Her voice is apologetic and wistful, but he can never look at her the same nor can he forgive her. He glazes his stare into her eyes and with every passing second, hate crawls up and poisons his mind at the sight of its calm hues.
His ears follow his spiteful suit and block her voice from his conscious as she talks on of saving the kingdom of Hyrule and he might have been hallucinating, in his desire for the shadow guide, he was so sure he caught a glimpse of bright scarlet eyes in the hall, watching in wait for a time that will never come for them. Her eyes grow wide before him, a scream ruptures her throat and she disappears in a flash of pink, the echo of dark evil laughter resounding in the Temple of Time. For a moment he feels victory at her disappearance; he vanquishes who took the Sheikah guide away from him. But he remembers, no, the Sheikah guide is not but a single entity, but he is her and if he truly loved him, he must have loved her.
He feels empty and shattered, even as the Legendary Sword impales the Black King in the gut and darkness dissipates from his home. Her clear water-blue eyes long for him, but the wisdom that chooses her begs her to stay away from him and his insanity takes over.
He forgets names. He forgets who he is, what he is fighting for. Frequently his head aches, constantly buzzing for knowledge, and he wanders the fields of the kingdom day and night, lost and weary.
The days pass by. He finds himself back at the Great Lake, where the sleeping Water Temple holds murky memories and glimpses of their time together. Dusted prints in the dirt, dragging curves in the trunk of the naked tree that stands above the Temple’s entrance. There are traces of shadow and dried blood in the splashed banks, darker than the waters will them to be.
Stripping off his over-glorified Kokiri tunic and weapons, he allows the coolness of the Lake to overtake his mind and memories flood back into him, names, purposes, him, him.
He reflects the time they spent together onto the water’s surface, their story a picture book for children, yet a tale so dark should never be remembered for the sins it bleeds. He remembers the guide’s warm hands, holding on close to steady him. They search his body for injuries and fingers chide him with gentle squeezes, wrapping rough bandages around his arms. He recalls their names, his name, difficult to swallow in the mouth of the Sheikah, but soft and caressing in his own.
“Sheik!” he gasps as he breaks the surface and he hangs on the edge of the bank, his head buzzing more and more, his desire for the guide even stronger than in younger days.
“Sheik,” he whispers to the water’s edge, “the Sheikah, the shadow guide. You were the Princess’s disguise, meant to fool the Black King Ganondorf and I. You were only an idea, a dream thought up by Zelda and the will of the Three, a shadow that mimicked the movements of her light and mine. But, by the Goddesses Sheik, how could you have been a creation, so artificial, if you were so real?”
The distant innocent pluck of lyre strings picks up a familiar melody and the water gathers in his eyes.