Prompt: Her Saviour
Couple/Character: Nicci/Richard
Disclaimer: Legend of the Seeker (TV) belongs to ABC Disney, not me. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's Notes: Written for ana_jo in the legendland prompts challenge

-o-

It's darkly amusing, how Richard thinks he can save her. At first she thought it was simply a ploy, a way of trying to win her over. She's not foolish enough to believe that the Seeker isn't perfectly capable of deception given the right motivation, and she's provided plenty of that, holding the Mother Confessor's life in her hands as she does. She knows he's capable of weaving webs of lies; he outmanoeuvred her in the Temple of the Prophets - both her and the Prelate, who is older and even more devious than Nicci herself - and that took more skill than she would have believed he possessed when she stared into his open, honest face.

But the longer she knows Richard, the less convinced she is that this is simply a ploy. He can be devious if needed, but at heart he's so utterly wholesome, ridden with what passes for goodness in the Midlands. It's a disease, like all life, and Richard is sicker with it than most.

So she watches him but doesn't listen, doesn't let herself look too deeply into his eyes. If she reaches deep inside herself, past the emptiness, she can almost summon up the energy to despise him, find some contempt for the things he holds dear. But even when she lets that show that in her face or feed into her voice drop by poisonous drop, he doesn't waver.

It makes it easier to hate him, even if hate is something that Nicci thought she'd long since left behind with every other weakness that emotion - that caring - brings.

She pushes it down, all of it, down into the emptiness at the very heart of her that swallows it and every other thing. She watches him but doesn't listen, and when she does - when the words slip past her defences and take root in her mind like any weed - she tightens her fingers, digging her nails into her palm until the Mother Confessor must feel it, and reminds herself that it's amusing how Richard thinks he can save her.

Because if she thinks about it too long, too hard - looks into his eyes and sees that he believes it, opens her ears to his earnest words - then she might catch the same disease that grips him, might start believing in the same nonsense that he does.

If she listens too closely she might start believing the lies that he tells: that she's worth saving.