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23 September 2012 @ 04:38 pm
The things he takes  
Title: The things he takes
Characters: Ghirahim, Zelda
Rating: T
Summary: He takes and takes and takes and never gives.
Note: Companion piece to "Who By Fire."



The first thing he takes is her freedom.

Ghirahim leaves her in his castle with perfect white walls and never-ending ceilings, but all the windows are locked, and all the doors are shut. No matter how far she runs, the hallways never end (and when they do, they’re always dead endings, an ominous warning against her wandering feet).

She is granted a room with a bed and a mirror that talks to her in the dark, when the shadows come out from hiding.

Zelda swears she can see him from the corner of her eye, but when she turns, there’s nothing there.

The first time he visits her in his castle with perfect white walls and never-ending ceilings, he is anything but perfect. There is so much darkness in him that it shines in his eyes, when she gets close enough to see them. 

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The second thing he takes is her heart.

Her heart is the weakest part of her, which is why, she imagines, it’s the next thing he takes from her.

There is nothing for her to take of him; he has no heart to begin with. If he did, it would be thorny and rotten, just like the words he wefts through her skin.

And even if he did have a heart, Zelda knows she could never take it, she hates him too much to do even that.

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The third thing he takes is her laughter.

Ghirahim calls her things like sweet and darling, and she has to tell herself that he means nothing by them, because he has no heart to begin with.

Now he has her freedom and her heart, but she has nothing of him; he laughs at her when she tries to escape, laughs at her when she wakes from nightmares he creates. His laughter rattles the walls all night.

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The fourth thing he takes is her trust.

He gives her flowers one day, blue like her eyes, which he threatens to pluck out should she deny his gifts. (It’s his botched way of showing affection, to make and destroy her all at once).

The flowers have thorns which prick her fingers when she holds them too tight, just as she holds trust close to her heart. Trust in Link, trust in destiny, trust that everything will be fine, fine, fine.

She takes his flowers and he takes her trust, though the trade is hardly fair.

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The fifth thing he takes is her voice.

The rooms are white but his intentions are not, and what a beautiful lie it is. She almost falls for it.

She thinks of tales her father combed through her hair as a child, of princesses trapped in castles, waiting for her knight to rescue her; but she is no princess, and she doesn’t remember those fairy tales ever ending sadly.

He takes her voice so that she cannot tell him no, to tell herself the truth; that these walls are illusions built on illusions, that he is not a knight, no matter how hard he tries to be. And what a beautiful lie it is. She almost falls for it.

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The sixth thing he takes is her dreams.

In the night, he creeps into her head and fills them with shadows, murdering every speck of light within them. She dreams of Link dying in her arms, of Ghirahim standing before her, the wind blowing through his silver hair, through his mad laughter.

She dreams in riddles, of a life she can’t remember living. Other nights, she dreams of strangling snakes that morph into his hands, which wrap around her tender throat. When she wakes, she wakes screaming.

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The seventh thing he takes is her hope.

She tries to kill him.

She stabs him in the chest where his heart should be, dagger shoved in as far as it will go, all the way to the hilt. His body pours out blood blacker than the night, limning her soft white hands in sin.

She gazes up at him in the dark, but he does not die, no matter how many times she wishes him to.  He smiles at her like he knows every secret living inside her, and a feeling like cold wind sweeping up snowflakes blooms into her.

 When the world loses color and she feels herself falling away, he catches her in his arms and carries her to bed, just as a knight in her fairy tales would. She feels his breath on her neck as he lays her down.

Zelda feels him watching her sleep, all through the night, like a knight in those fairy tales would.

He’s not her knight and she’s not a princess, she reminds herself, when he blurs the lines between them.

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The eighth thing he takes is her skin.

As the days go by, she catches him watching her.

His gaze rakes over every part of her when he thinks she isn’t looking, burning against her flesh.

It’s more than his gaze, sometimes, sometimes it’s his hands or his breath or even his lips which brush her skin and she shudders all around him and wishes he would just die. His touch never ventures farther than the inside of her wrist or the back of her neck, but she feels him sink down into her, all the way to her bones.

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The ninth thing he takes is her defiance.

He becomes more erratic with every passing hour, though the walls of his castle remain perfectly white.

Now she lets him touch her or breathe into her hair, because she’s stopped fighting back long ago, days or weeks, she has lost count.

She gazes out windows to pass the time. He gazes at her.

The nights become longer.

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The last thing he takes is her innocence.

He’s already taken everything inside her, and she has been given nothing. He sucks her dry of every speck of light within her.

 (The image is strangely erotic in all the worst ways).

Zelda tries to love him but can’t, no matter how hard she tries – she’d rather love him and get it all over with, so maybe he’ll disappear, but she can’t, she can’t.

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So, for now, she stays inside his castle with perfect white walls, as he takes something from her each day, as he blurs the lines between love and hate. He is her knight and her monster all at once.

He doesn’t like it when she tries to run, so he brings her back with bruising hands, leaving mottled blue marks along her neck, faux love-bites, and she shudders all around him and wishes he would just die.

Ghirahim has everything of her and she has nothing of him, nothing but these blank white walls, as he leaves her crumpled on the floor like a withered flower.

He takes and takes and takes and never gives.

She has one thing: She has his non-existent heart, beating alive and bloody in her palm, and one day she knows she will have to quash it, take the only thing he has.

That is the only thing he gives her.