Title: Between the tides
Characters: Ganondorf-centric, implied Ganondorf/Zelda
Summary: He knows the tide will come in, one day.
“Time and tide wait for no man.” - Geoffrey Chaucer
In each life, she is always different, while he is, inexorably, the same.
While the Hero and Princess are destined to be carved hollow and remade again, Ganondorf is begotten with no such curse. It is, perhaps, the only sigil of mercy destiny has given him.
They are destined to change. He is not.
To Ganondorf, the Hero never matters. He’s just a boy caught in her tide, the Princess with too much wisdom in her gaze. The Hero is just another marionette playing his part.
His interest is only in her.
Ganondorf watches each of her reincarnations, the same soul bottled up in different bodies, each with different faces, different hands. He watches her grow from gangling youth to remarkable beauty; sometimes, she doesn’t live long enough for even that.
Watching her change while he remains static is like watching the ocean; she is the tide that beats against the cliffs of him, shaping him with each ebb and flow. So much like her, the tide is unchanging.
He knows the tide will come in, one day.
So for now, he waits.
As the ocean continues to swirl up around him, he watches her.
She is the string which binds all three of them together; without her, there would be nothing to for either of them to hold onto. They are the moon and the ocean, one leading the other, with the stars between them.
He watches her grow and change, while he stands in the tides, forever at the will of the strings she pulls.
Ganondorf waits and watches, the Princess growing, dying, cycling over and over, the light of her soul flickering across oceans.
He follows it.
The sea begins to deepen beneath his feet.
Sometimes, they meet again, in one of her many lives. Inevitably, she is joined by the Hero brandishing his holy blade, always there to rend him down. Again and again, he rises, only to drown in the sea which swells against him.
When they die, too, Ganondorf takes solace in the fact that they drown in the same sea.
Inevitably, she begins again in the next life, and he feels the tide rush in.
They will strike him down again, he knows.
The Princess and Hero do not know death like he does.
Death is distant to them. The Hero knows it in the deaths of his parents, always cursed to be orphaned, as the original Hero was. The Princess knows death beyond her castle walls, as she stands at the tallest spire of her castle and watches it from afar.
He knows death in ways she does not, feels it in the sandy crags of his heart.
Ganondorf knows death – he has tasted it in the grit of sand against his lips, the cry of his people in the barren desert air. He knows.
Because he knows, he fights the tide of destiny, fights her and her chosen Hero. He fights because he knows death not like theirs. He fights because he has no choice.
The tide grows.
There is a strange blessing in this, his ability to never die, to always, always come back the same man.
In each of his incarnations he bears the same hatred, the same demon madness to take and take and take. He may wear a different mask, but beneath it, the core of him never changes.
There is a strange blessing in this, to never change, while she peels off her skin and grows a new one in each life.
He is a statue watching the ocean flow around him, through him.
He knows the tide will come again, someday.
So for now, he fights it over and over, the Hero and the Princess, clashing blades, clashing lives.
He’s struck down again anyway.
She is the raging tide that sweeps him out to sea, pulling him along by red puppet strings.
He lets it take him under.