Firstly, I want to say that I'm not actually a Rahl/Kahlan shipper. This isn't, necessarily a ship story. It's likely more one-sided, if it had to be considered shippy, if you want. See it how you like.
Set Mid-'Reckoning'. I wanted to give a moment to what might have been going on between Rahl and Kahlan in the moments we didn't see. Because I was curious as to why Rahl didn't have Kahlan killed right after she gave birth to Nicholas. I mean, she said that he would have and logically, with the trouble she and Richard had caused him, it would have made sense for him to have her killed after he had what he wanted. But he didn't and I found that very curious.
So I hope you can enjoy this tiny little insight.
The walls of the room were dark and menacing and shadows danced about the corners like dark spirits come to spite her for what she'd done; as though it wasn't already enough that she was ashamed of herself.
She tried to tell herself that she'd done it for Richard, that she hadn't simply given in. She'd been left alone at the feet of their enemy and she'd found a solution. She'd resolutely - with chin held high - confined herself to the fate of carrying out that solution. She knew, in her heart, that Richard wouldn't hate her. At least, she hoped that he wouldn't. She hoped that if her plan failed and he spent the remainder of his life in the future, she'd have another hundred years to wait before she saw his face again; but she hoped that she would, indeed, see his face again. See his smile, hear his laugh and hope that he could forgive her this moment of unbridled fear.
Lying in the bed of embroidered red silk, she couldn't for the life of her, imagine how he could possibly forgive her. The fact that she was more afraid than she'd ever been in her life, was not something she felt, warranted justification for his forgiveness. But she hoped it could be enough to give him pause and make him wonder.
Rahl paced the room, his dark red robes rippling around his legs like a sea of blood as he walked. She hated and loathed this man, this tyrant, her enemy; Her husband. He ran a finger along the edge of his bottom lip, watching her as she squirmed slightly, pressing herself back into the mound of pillows at her back. His eyes seemed to sparkle upon noticing the movement, as though it had somehow enticed him to make the first move. "Please," She whimpered, sounding weaker than she could even remember, even as a child. "don't." She didn't care how weak she sounded, right at that moment, a part of her had come to hate herself for the decision. She wanted to find another way.
"I would never wish to harm you, Kahlan." Rahl whispered, crawling his way across the grand bed, slowly, purposefully, towards her. Kahlan pulled her knees up closer to herself, aware that it freed her bare legs from the confines of her burgundy slip, but she didn't care. He could look all he wanted, she just couldn't bear the thought of him touching her.
Though when his hand pressed to the curve of her red corset, the one that she'd worn underneath her elaborate wedding gown, she shuddered. "Please," She whimpered again, closing her eyes and praying to the Creator to bring her mercy. Praying that when she opened her eyes again she'd be standing with Richard, smiling into his eyes. Though that was one prayer, she knew the Creator couldn't grant.
"Kahlan," His touch was tender, almost sweet if she hadn't known the cruelty it had already spread upon the Midlands. "open your eyes." His voice was a breathless whisper, almost reverant, could she fathom the notion. Dutifully, having consigned herself to the enemy's lair, she did as asked, if only to prolong her own life.
If only to save Richard.
The way he was looking at her, almost made her heart quicken. He was studying her, so closely, so carefully with a reverance not normally resigned for the Mother Confessor. It was a strange sort of adoration, a strange sort of infatuation that frightened her. She'd always thought that Rahl's insistance on her capture along with Richard's had been a ploy to capture his kind-hearted younger brother. She'd always thought that his loathing for the Confessor's was that which all people of the Midlands bore; Fear for their touch. But this was something altogether different, something indefinable.
Something markedly more terrifying.
It was a look she'd seen in Richard's eyes before.
"I'm not going to harm you." He reiterated and against her better judgement, against her instincts and years of seeing the casualties of this man's war, she relaxed a little. "I said I wanted you to be my wife, in every way. That doesn't mean that I intended to be any less than your husband."
"And what does that mean?" She'd finally found her voice, her strength, even if it waned somewhat.
"That I only ask you to share my bed, until you bear me a child. If you come to love me in that time," He reached up, brushing his fingers tenderly along her jaw, letting them slip into her hair until his strong hand cupped the back of her head. "which I very much hope you will. You will want for nothing."
"And if I don't?" Her lips pressed into a thin line and her eyes narrowed, ever so slightly. She was gauging his reaction to her continued defiance.
"I will respect your wishes if it pleases you to never share this bed again. I will ask only that you stand by my side, and appear for all the world as my devoted queen." His answer stunned her into silence.
She knew, knew, that this man was evil. Had known all her life, that he was without a single redeeming quality. So his response and the sincerity in his eyes, completely floored her. Everything she'd ever known about this man, whilst not erased, suddenly came into question.
Could he possibly love her? As Richard did? No; Inwardly she shook her head, appalled by having given the thought a second glance. No-one had ever loved her as Richard did, that was what made it so special, a magic unto itself.
But she did wonder.
It didn't matter though, for their goal was the same. He wished her to bear a child that would succeed him and she wished to raise a daughter that would save Richard. She had no care for the complexities of Darken Rahl's blackened heart. Convinced that she would not live to see her daughter's first birthday, she closed her eyes as Rahl kissed a trail of wet kisses along the curve of her collarbone. Pressing her eyes closed tight, she imagined it was Richard, even though she could barely ignore that Richard's kisses were always so much more tender.
She pressed her palms to the sheets at her sides and prayed to the Creator to gift her a daughter, this very night, so that she could greet death before she was forced to betray Richard's love again; in her lonely quest to save him.