Spoilers: Set during Season 1
Disclaimer: Legend of the Seeker (TV) belongs to ABC Studios/Disney. No copyright infringement is intended. This is fanfiction, written solely for love of the show.
Author's Notes:Written for the legendland Inspiration challenge. Title and quote from 'Falling' by Florence and the Machine.
Falling's not the problem
When I'm falling I'm at peace
It's only when I hit the ground
It causes all that grief
The breeze was blowing gently as Richard and Kahlan crested of the grassy hill leading away from the village of Grinwold in the Wold. The sun was high in the sky, and the earth was warm underneath Kahlan's boots; all in all it was shaping up to be a beautiful day, not least because Richard was by her side.
Richard seemed to be of the same mind, if the grin he sported was any indication. He'd been teasing her ever since they'd left the village, no heat in his words and nothing said to sour her mood. On the contrary; there was a warmth in his words that rivalled the sun overhead and he kept touching her, gentle brushes of his hand against hers as they walked, fingers never quite catching. It left her smiling and aching in equal measure.
At the top of the hill Richard paused for a moment, taking in a deep breath and turning his face up into the sky. Kahlan paused to watch him. The sun caught at his hair, turning it gold and red; he was as beautiful as the day, not least because his soul shone out clearly.
He turned his head and caught her looking but she refused to look away, even though meeting his eyes brought a flush to her cheeks, pinking her skin more than the sun ever could. He smiled again at her, his lips curling and his cheeks dimpling. "When I was little," he began, and then he trailed off with a slightly bashful smile. He talked so little about his childhood; she knew enough to know that it had been happy before the war in the Midlands had spilled over into the Westlands, but beyond that it was a mystery to her.
"Go on," she said encouragingly when he kept his silence. He smiled again, ducking his head the way he did whenever he was shy. He had no reason to be shy around her, no reason she hadn't given him.
"When I was little," he continued, more firmly this time, "Michael and I used to play on the hill close to our house. We used to race each other to the bottom."
"Who won?" she asked him, her tone teasing. "Let me guess. Michael was the elder; he had longer legs?"
That startled a laugh out of Richard and she grinned to hear it. "Is that how it was between you and Dennee?" he asked.
"Dennee and I seldom had time to play like that," she said and Richard's smile dimmed. It made her ache to see it, his good heart feeling for her. "Tell me more," she urged, wanting to put the smile back on his face.
He frowned a little, eyes searching her face; whatever he found there must have satisfied him because he relaxed a little and the smile slipped back onto his face, a little more subdued this time. "The length of Michael's legs didn't matter," he said. "Not with the kind of racing we did."
He grinned at her again, the sight like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. "Come on," he said, reaching for her hand and tangling his fingers with hers. "Let me show you."
He pulled her down until they were both kneeling on the ground and then he let go of her hand and stretched out until he was lying on his back, grinning up at her. "Like this," he said. Even as she frowned at him, confused by his actions, he pushed himself away with his hands, rolling himself over onto his front, and then over and over again until he was rolling down the hill, his laughter echoing back to her.
She laughed, too, the sound spilling out of her mouth past the hands she pressed to it. But then Richard reached the bottom and pushed himself up to sitting, grinning up the hill at her. There were leaves in his hair and spring pollen dusting his skin; he shone even brighter now in the sunlight, the glee on his face lighting him up from the inside.
"Come on, Kahlan," he called to her.
She shouldn't. She was a Confessor. She was the seat of mercy and justice in the Midlands, as serious and sober as her duties demanded.
But Richard was smiling at her and she could not refuse him; she lay down, closed her eyes and fell towards him.