Written for winner of the Son of Blood contest, Team Mord'Sith 3. Contest winners each got to give me a drabble prompt, as well as getting a cameo character named for them in Dragon Blood.
Team Mord'Sith 3 wanted to know what would have happened if Denna's backstory was revealed through her interactions with Zedd in "Light." Denna/Darken Rahl.
Please note: While this fic is influenced by book!Denna's back story, I only write show verse, so yes there are differences.
Friends are for the Helpless
Denna stared down at the old wizard she was binding to a tree. Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander… a ridiculous name for a ridiculous man.
"Not even you can resist being broken by a Mord'Sith," she purred into his ear, enjoying the play of tongue against teeth.
No one could resist the pull of the Agiel. Denna had not been able to. Richard would have succumbed if the Confessor had arrived even a day later.
It was impossible.
"You are mistaken," was the man's reply.
A slow frothing rage bubbled up from Denna's gut, a black memory that she had long suppressed.
She held up a fistful of the flowers the wizard had caused to grow along their path, his trail of breadcrumbs left for Richard and his bitches to follow.
Denna smiled, the darkness in her spirit pulsing in delight at the look of dawning despair that passed over the wizard's face.
"If you think your friends are coming to help you… you are the one who's mistaken."
She dropped the flowers. They hit the underbrush with a series of thuds, sounding heavier than they could possibly be.
The wizard said nothing. Denna frowned.
Later, after she had disposed of two rouge D'Harans who had dared to fail and dared return to her, the wizard spoke up:
"My friends will never stop coming for you."
A flash of memory, a girl crying and pointing, a red gloved hand reaching for her face…
"They will if they assume I'm dead."
That night, sitting side by side by the fire, Zeddicus asked, "I have given you a new life. What more do you want?"
In the haze of violent memory Denna saw piercing blue eyes, burning houses, girls crying, friends betrayed.
An old man pleaded for his life as she brought an Agiel to his breast, her ears deaf to his screams.
"You can't imagine the things I want," she growled back at the wizard, tired of his inquiries.
"What do you know about friends," the wizard demanded. He was baiting her, trying to force her into making him scream. He wanted to draw the attention of his shorn Mord'Sith and pitiful Confessor. "You have no one. My friends would stop at nothing to find me, who would do the same for you?"
There had been a girl, a friend when she was a child. She had stopped at nothing to find Denna.
Because the Mord'Sith were in their village. Her grandfather had hidden her in his root cellar.
But Denna's friend, the girl she trusted enough to tell of her hiding place… Breanna had told the Mord'Sith where to find her in exchange for her own life.
Of course, they didn't really let Breanna go. She was as stupid as she was faithless. She was caught, and pulled Denna into the trap with her.
And for what?
Denna endured the training. The torture. The rats that bit her and stole her food. The beatings, the lies.
Nothing could break her. She was stronger than the others. Possessed of a truly remarkable will.
A compassion that knew no bounds.
And then she met Lord Rahl.
She was broken at his hands. Haunted by his eyes. Held in his arms.
His voice whispered to her in the dark, his thoughts lived in her heart, she knew nothing but the desire to please him.
And one thing more.
She knew who betrayed her.
It had been years since she was taken from her village. Years since she had seen the little girl who changed her fate with a moment of cowardice.
The day Denna completed her training, passed the trials and earned her Agiel, Lord Rahl told her he had a gift for her.
She was special. She was strong. She had been trained by Lord Rahl himself.
He gave her revenge.
Though much time had passed, Denna recognized the woman in the thin shift who was thrown to the ground in front of her.
"Hello, Breanna," Denna said, the darkness inside grinding shadow fangs.
"Denna, please –"
Breanna never got to finish that sentence.
Staring at the wizard with dead eyes, Denna intoned, "Friends are for the helpless."