Disclaimer: Legend of the Seeker/Sword of Truth is owned by Terry Goodkind and all the grand high mucky mucks of ABC. No copyright infringement is intended and no money was made from this of course. Any similarity to any other story not my own is coincidence.

Title: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Genre: Legend of the Seeker; Darken Rahl
Rating: PG; rated for violence
Timeline: Sometime season 1
Author's Notes: Written for the "dreams" challenge at legendland and the title obviously comes from Shakespeare. *grin*


Kahlan twirled, her white skirts twisting around her legs as she deftly lifted the wooden bowl high above the heads of her children where they tumbled around her feet. Nicholas quickly snatched the doll from his sister's hands, taunting her with all the enthusiastic affection that only a seven year boy could have for his twin sister.

"Hey you two, enough of that," Kahlan chastised, trying to not spill wet, ripe strawberries. "Why don't you both go outside and play," she suggested in mild exasperation.

Their protests were unexpectedly met with their father's voice. "Go on you two, you heard your mother," Darken admonished with unabashed fondness warming his voice.

"Your children are going to turn me gray before my time," Kahlan sighed, even as her husband stepped behind her to absently twirl a dark tendril of her hair with his fingertips. He smiled as the soft strands gently tangled in his fingers, hiding the simple gold band on his left hand.

"Never my love; you and I are eternal," he whispered even as she laughed softly.

She turned in his arms, holding the bowl of strawberries between them. Kahlan raised a single eyebrow and smiled.

"Eternal?"

"As all true lovers," Darken assured her, plucking a strawberry from the bowl and pressing it gently to his wife's lips.

She smiled again and bit into the wet fruit, briefly sucking his fingers into her mouth, making it his turn to raise an eyebrow. He met Kahlan's lovingly wicked smile with one of his own.

"In that case," she murmured, leaning a little forward to brush her lips over Darken's. "Perhaps we should give Rachel and Nicholas a little brother or sister," she whispered as she lead her husband toward the simple wooden door of their bed-chamber.

Darken smiled and followed until Kahlan unexpectedly faded as she stepped through the doorway.

"Kahlan!"

The name tore from his lips even as Darken bolted upright in his bed, sweating and tembling, red sheets falling to his hips. Next to him, the Mord'sith awoke to the sound of his cry.

"My Lord..."

She reached out a hand to brush it over his taut muscles with unquestioning affection.

Darken sneered and brutally struck the young woman from his bed, even as he grasped her dark hair, stretching it between them. He pulled for a moment, smiling as Kylan winced, before thrusting her braid from his fist so that it slapped back onto her face.

"Leave me," he commanded.

Kylan rose, reaching for her red leathers.

"Now!" Darken bellowed, denying the girl even the semblance of dignity and enjoying her sense of wounded pride as she left his bedchamber, bruised and naked. His pleasure in her pain faded as quickly as it had come though, once he was alone in his room, faced with the prospect of a cold bed and dreams that left him aching and alone.

"Kahlan..."

FIN