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Under Pressure

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  He’d seen it coming, in a weird way.   

  Visions were something that apparently got passed down, in a convoluted and tricky way that resulted in only three out of nine heroes having them, and it was something he both thanked and cursed the golden three for on multiple occasions. Calming Sky down after the young man had seen something particularly horrible was always hard, especially when it was something that the sky child wouldn’t be able to prevent; Sky had been heartbroken when they visited his home only to find out that the nightmare about Groose getting trapped in a collapse during construction was real. The Chosen Hero hadn’t been willing to leave his friend’s side even when Groose himself had told him to go and rest for a little bit.   

  Legend was both easier and harder, depending on when he woke. If it was the middle of the night the teen usually launched into full panic, scanning their group for whatever injury he might have seen in his visions. The three of them all had different types of visions they’d discovered: Sky saw what was to come, in full, Legend would find himself in the body of another person and live through what was to come or what they currently were dealing with; everything from experiencing a particularly shoddy kidnapping attempt that Fable faced, to once living through getting blown up before Wild had even suggested setting bombs, and Time experienced the world through flashes, through glimpses of what was to come based on the actions of others.  

  He knew the instant that Wild’s arrow hit its mark that something was going to go wrong in this battle. He also knew who was going to get hurt. Nayru hate him, he wasn’t watching Hyrule take that blow, not if he could help it, so when the hinox that had joined the battle started to make its way towards their young healer, he’d done the stupidest thing he could think of and called the kid over.  

  “Hyrule!”  

  Golden eyes turned his way for only a moment, glinting curiously before Hyrule turned his attention back to the enemy before him.   

  “Help Four!” He called out, because a brother in danger was the best excuse to make one of his boys move fast. Four was holding his own pretty well, even for being against three enemies, but the help would be appreciated, and it got Hyrule to dart across the field, out of the path of the hinox and over to the other end of the field, cutting down enemies that surged in from all sides on his way to his brother’s side.  

  It was a relief to see, but he didn’t miss the look of horror sent his way as Sky and Legend both turned from where they’d just felled their respective enemies, terror on the face of the elder and agony on the face of the younger.  

  Well shit.  

  He was too busy trying to fend off a stalfoes to try and determine what he’d done to trigger the other two, but they knew what was coming, and Sky was already digging for his whip while Legend started to sprint across the field, face pale and blade flashing as the kid ran. Somehow, he knew that neither of them would be in time. That thought was confirmed when something knocked him flat on his face and a crushing weight ground down on him.  

  From that point, Time knew nothing.  

 

  Sky was flying across the field nearly as fast as Legend with his pegasus boots, but neither made it in time to stop the hinox from turning in the direction of the most recent loud noise. It was like dreaming again, caught in slow motion as one foot rose high, their leader standing still in place, blade locked with that of a stalfoes, too set in his task to see the doom coming down on top of him.  

  Legend screamed.  

  The hinox bellowed.  

  And Sky’s heart stopped in his chest as he watched the beasts foot come down with full force on their leader.  

  There was a sickening groan of plate armor and the resounding snap of bones as Legend skidded to a stop at the monster’s feet, blade out and hacking away at the creature with a fury as his voice pitched, shouting out to Sky. “We gotta make it move! Lasso it or some shit!”  

  The hinox’s club swung down by the vet, making him leap back with agility that only a rabbit hero could possess. The motion knocked some sense, and a breath of air, into the Chosen Hero, and Sky was darting forwards, whip slinging overhead to wrap around the leg pressing down on Time, which Legend promptly began to attack. Twilight was at their side in an instant, the Ordonian Sword glimmering as a growl sounded through the air.  

  “Get off my dad, you  muskh !”  

  The hinox rumbled, stumbling back with a bellow and swinging at the rancher.  

  Warriors darted over, blazing blue eyes sharp in the rage of the battle as he stayed Legend’s hands. “Don’t move him, you could injure him further! Watch Time’s back and don’t let the monster get closer,” The captain darted past towards the stampeding giant, leaving Legend standing over Time as the rest of the heroes darted over.  

  The vet stared down at Time’s fallen body, sweat pouring down his face at the broken and twisted form of their leader. Somewhere to his right the hinox bellowed and one of Wild’s bombs detonated. Somewhere, there was the sound of Wind screaming profanities as Warriors shouted instructions to the others, lightning crackled in the distance, despite the warm summer sun continuing to beat down on their backs as the hinox bellowed again, there was a trembling of the earth as the vet’s blade clashed with that of a bokoblin, easily casting it aside and spearing the creature before knocking it off his blade and launching into a spin attack that felled the rest of the monsters that surged around himself and Time.  

  When his head cleared it was to find a final moblin standing over him with its blade raised, but before he could properly get his own weapon up to block it, there was a blade piercing through the creature’s stomach, blood spattering over his face as the monster fell dead, revealing Warriors standing behind it with flashing eyes and furrowed brows.   

  “Nice work, vet.” The captain nodded firmly, dropping to his knees at the side of their leader, the other heroes following after with varying expressions of concern on their pale faces. Even Wind’s dark tan had faded to almost a sheet white as he stared at their injured leader.  

  “Is-” Legend fumbled with the hilt of his own weapon, staying standing as the others all pushed close. “Is he still alive?”  

  “You’d know best!” Sky replied, panic tainting his voice as he stared up at the vet. “How far did it go?”  

  “Just the crushing part!”   

  Warriors blinked from hero to hero, confused and trying hard not to panic. Neither of the other two explained, and within seconds Sky found the man beside him has snapping orders to the others. “Wild, Twilight, remove the armor where you can, don’t move him if you can help it. Hyrule, you and I will look for spinal damage, Four, look for head damage. Wind, I need you to scan the area for any more monsters with Legend, it might get bloody over here and the vet gets nauseous.”  

  He blinked at his brother in confusion as the other heroes scrabbled to action, Wind jumping to his feet and dragging Legend away with a faint smile and something weakly reassuring as the pink haired hero attempted to school his own expression. How did Warriors even know that? And when did- right, observant captain.  

  “What do you want me to do?”  

  “Check supplies for healing supplies and anything that can be used as a brace. Healing potions and fairies can’t fix bones properly if we don’t set them right.” Warriors’ gaze didn’t even meet his as the captain gently pressed his hands to Time’s neck, feeling cautiously downwards and looking for damage.  

  Sky nodded.  

  The next few minutes were spent working in muted silence, with only Twilight’s heavy breathing and Hyrule and Warriors mumbles to each other sounding over the previously chaotic and raucous battlefield. It was unnerving, but it was better than when the sound of grating bone met his ears, making Twilight and Wild both wince back with twin whimpers while Warriors paled, hands pressing and pushing on damaged bones as the captain and traveler worked to set their leaders ribs. Each crunch and creak and gasping wheeze that sounded from Time’s body make bile bubble in their throats as six heroes of courage slowly pieced their leader back together.  

  Sure enough, blood spattered Time’s lips by the time Hyrule was pressing his hands to their leader’s battered chest, and the armor that Twilight and Wild had pulled away was dripping with the stuff from where it had dug through flesh and muscle, tearing and stretching flesh in ways he never wanted to see again. Time’s protégé’s had done their best, but the damage beneath was beyond their control, and Hyrule was already looking faint as Warriors started dripping red potions into Time’s gaping lips.  

  “Hylia help us.” He murmured as he handed the captain a second bottle. Because if their leader was going to live past this, it would only be with her help.