Title: Broken Blade
Pairing: Cara/Kahlan Legend of the Seeker
Rating: PG (For a bit of blood)
Disclaimer: I do not own or have any official association with LotS or its characters. No infringement intended.
Summary: Richard said that the Mord Sith broke her, but Richard was wrong. She has never met that which can truly break her…until now.
A/N: So apparently, LotS is my new crack.
Cara hadn't lied in the trial. She is not ashamed of who she is.
Sometimes though, she is afraid. Sometimes she is very, very afraid.
Richard said that the Mord Sith had broken her, but Richard was wrong. The Mord Sith did not break the girls they captured.
They shaped them, molding and changing them into weapons.
Forged in the fires of pain and survival, shaped by rigid discipline and fierce competition, Cara became a razor edged blade; the brightest and strongest of her Sisters. But no matter that she embraces her power and the woman – the weapon – she has become, Cara understands, deep down, that even the strongest blade may break.
She has seen it happen on the battlefield: Not often, but enough. Sometimes it is due to a flaw in the steel, or simply that one combatant holds a superior blade or deals a stronger blow. Whatever the reason, the bright, terrible, discordant note of a sword breaking is not something Cara has ever forgotten.
It is a sound that increasingly haunts her nightmares: Nightmares that come more frequently and with greater intensity and clarity.
It is the same dream. She understands this, but is as powerless to stop it as she has always been.
She is fighting, the Sword of Truth shining in her hand as she protects her companions, her…friends. Sunlight pours across the blade as blood flies and Cara knows the satisfaction of seeing her enemies die.
But the enemies become faceless and formless and her strokes falter.
And she knows fear.
Always then, there comes a shout – familiar and wonderful, even if the way it draws her is terrifying – and Kahlan is at her side, fighting with her, twin daggers flashing like lightening. Eyes the color of rain washed blue bells meet hers, and Cara knows an instant of fierce joy. Just one, barely a heartbeat…
And then the darkness strikes at Kahlan and Cara blocks, but the Sword, with a terrible scream, shatters, and yet again Cara is catapulted into wakefulness by the image of Kahlan falling, those beautiful eyes clouding and crimson spreading across her snow white gown, a jagged shard of the Sword piercing her chest.
The scream is strangled in her throat, but this time, her stomach rebels. Cara scrambles from her bedroll, heedless of being silent as she staggers behind a clump of bushes and falls to her knees, retching violently. Tears sting her eyes and leather covered hands dig at the earth as she vomits until her stomach has nothing more to give. She is left, gagging and trembling in the dark, fear and shame at that fear a maelstrom in her blood.
The sound of a step from beyond the camp, however, has her lunging forward, agiels in her hand and blinking furiously, only to yank herself up short at the sight of white cloth and glowing skin.
"Kahlan! Make some noise next time would you?" she growls, throat raw. She is lashing out and she knows it, and is as powerless to stop it as she had been the dream.
The Confessor doesn't even blink.
Something has shifted between them. From that moment of the trial when Cara stood, trembling and bound and still proud and begged Kahlan in a voice that did not crack to punish her, something has changed in both women.
Not much, and not so they would admit it, but as Cara looks at Kahlan standing in front of her, moonlight falling gently on her face, the Mord Sith sees no anger or pity: Only compassion.
"Is it the dream again?" Kahlan asks softly.
Cara jerks, eyes narrowing as she sheaths her ageils and spits the sour taste from her mouth.
"What do you know of it?" the Mord Sith replies harshly.
Instead of an answer, a water skin is pressed into her hand and Cara hesitates only a second before taking it, rinsing out her mouth. Grateful, she nods her head to the Confessor.
"I know you keep calling out my name," the whisper is close and a gentle hand closes over hers where Cara has suddenly fisted it around the water skin.
Her body goes wire tight; the instinct to flee and bury the feelings that surge in her chest battling with the tiny but insistent desire to trust: to not be alone any more. It is a pitched battle, but ultimately an unsuccessful one.
"I see you die." The whisper barely stirs the air, but the stillness in Kahlan tells the Mord Sith she has heard.
"I see you die, and I can never stop it." This time there is heat to the words; anger at herself for this weakness – though whether the flaw is her failure to save the woman in her dreams, or the dream itself, she can't say.
This time Kahlan is not still. Tender hands slide up Cara's arms to cup her face, thumbs stroking cheeks that the blonde woman only now realizes are wet with the remnants of tears.
"I can't stop it," she breathes, almost a child's confession. And she can't. Any of it. Not her devotion to Richard, nor her growing fondness for Zed, nor the sense of peace she feels in their presence. And certainly not the keening ache that grows in her heart every day she is with Kahlan, but not.
For a long moment the Confessor does not move. Both women stand frozen under the gentle glittering of the stars before Kahlan slowly, cautiously draws Cara into her arms.
The Mord Sith tenses, uncertain, and then the gentle power of Kahlan's presence fills her senses and she yields just enough to lay her head on the taller woman's shoulder.
Slender arms tighten around her and Cara slips her hands around Kahlan's waist, pulling their bodies together and trying to ignore the way her heart sings at the rightness of it. This is what she should fear: this desire for more, this fleeting joy. And yet she doesn't have the strength to push it away.
As if sensing her thoughts, Kahlan presses a cheek against her hair, lips close to her ear.
"They aren't a weakness, feelings."
"How can they not be?" Cara asks, pulling back sharply to meet Kahlan's eyes in defiance. Here in the starlight, though, safe from daylight's glare there is desire under the harshness: For acceptance, for understanding; for things Cara has no name for.
"They are what make life worth living."
Cara almost laughs bitterly at the emptiness of the Confessor's answer, but something stops her. Perhaps it is the weight in the other woman's starlit eyes or her gentle touch that still lingers on the Mord Sith's shoulders, perhaps it is something in Cara's own heart. She doesn't know, but the laugh, like her scream, dies stillborn.
And because the word has the hard, pure ring of truth, and because she wants to…just for a moment, Cara lets herself believe. She has to, because she cannot break; the stakes are too high. There are others who count on her now. Others who need her, who need her to be their protection: Their weapon. Because as much as she might will it otherwise, Cara knows now, somewhere deep within, that she is flawed: That these feelings are irrevocably a part of her, and that the day the light dims from Kahlan's eyes is the day she will truly, finally, be broken.