TITLE: What Almost Happened
AUTHOR: Lord of Kavaka
TIMELINE: 1x13 Revenant
STORY TYPE: Romance/Angst
SPOILERS: Season 1
DISCLAIMER: I do not own them, and I make no profit from this.
SUMMARY: ONE-SHOT; Richard and Kahlan deal with the fallout of being possessed by Kieran and Vivian. TAG to REVENANT.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to klynnrhiannon, for the suggestion.
What Almost Happened
Kahlan took a step back as the old wizard climbed up onto his horse. Taking a quick breath, she was highly aware of Richard coming up to stand besides her. The wind hitched up just a bit and she caught the smell of his scent. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath to settle her roiling insides. Why did his presence have to be so intoxicating?
Her mind flashed back to the scene in the crypt. She could still sense the fleeting ghost whispers of where he had touched her body when Kieran had possessed him. The entire experience had been surreal. Kahlan had been aware of what had been going on. Yet, trapped inside her own mind, she had been unable to do anything but watch as it all unfolded. Unfolded, that word seemed highly appropriate at the moment. The image of Richard gently pushing her hands aside as he took over unlacing the front of her gown was seared into her memories.
His fingers touching and caressing her in all the places she had dreamt of him touching her would never be forgotten. The memories of the thrill and ferocity of their colliding, of the kisses, and grinding, as their possessed forms worked towards connection would forever be ingrained in her mind. The intensity and passion of it was overwhelming, to say the least. The feel of his lips touching her neck had been exhilarating and it was taking all of her strength and self-control to hold back the feelings and emotions the entire incident had stirred up inside her.
Blinking her eyes and shaking her head slightly, Kahlan returned her focus to the present. Zedd had finished mounting his horse and had turned his head to glance down at them.
"I don't need to tell you both…," Zedd stared at them with a knowing look. "Be careful." And with that the old wizard spun his horse around and went galloping off with the Box of Orden.
Kahlan stood there, thinking about what Zedd had said. Part of her knew he was referring to more than just the dangers they might encounter because of their quest. Their experiences in the tomb had revealed more than Kahlan would have wished. However, as she stood next to Richard, the Seeker seemed oblivious to the other meaning behind Zedd's warning.
"I don't like it when Zedd goes off by himself," Richard spoke softly, his voice steady and reassuring.
"He's willing to take the risk for the sake of your quest," answered Kahlan, keeping her eyes pointed away from the Seeker. She furrowed her brow, taken off guard by the tears that were trying to manifest in her eyes. Clenching her jaw, she held them back, determined to remain strong.
Richard gave a nod and turned his head towards her, blind to her inner struggle. "In the crypt he was willing to sacrifice you," he spoke matter-of-factly, though she could sense a little bitterness in the undertone of his voice. Perhaps he was not as blind to her suffering as she had imagined. His comments after the incident with Denna should have reminded her of that, how he would "suffer in silence."
Not wanting to risk looking at him with the current state of her emotions, Kahlan kept her eyes on the horizon, locked on Zedd's slowly disappearing form. "He was doing what he had to," she replied with a slight shake of her head. Then she added, almost without thinking, "from keeping us from becoming like Vivian and Kieran." Taking a breath, she risked a sidelong glance at the Seeker.
"That won't happen," Richard said in a firm voice, his eyes looking very determined.
Quickly turning her gaze away from him, Kahlan sighed. He was so sure of himself. So confident. "They probably thought the same thing," was her answer. Kahlan hated how timid and afraid her voice sounded. "And then, in that moment of weakness… they lost everything."
Richard narrowed his brow. "Yeah, well… we're stronger than they were," he boldly declared.
Kahlan kept her eyes averted, looking down at the ground. Spirits, she could literally feel the intensity of his gaze on the back of her head. "I hope your right."
"Love isn't something to fear, Kahlan," he said, his voice soft and comforting. She could almost sense him having an internal battle over whether or not to reach out to soothe her.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, gaining the courage to turn around and face him. "For me… it is."
Richard merely stood there, his warm brown eyes drilling into her. "Is it, Kahlan? Is it truly something that you… we need to fear?"
Without intending it, Kahlan now found herself stuck in the conversation she had been trying to avoid. They had spoken a little about this, after the incident with Denna, where the Mord'Sith had revealed her secret. She had hoped that his declaration of suppressing his feelings and suffering in silence was something he could do, but now, after what had almost happened in the crypt, Kahlan was unsure. Spirits, she could not blame him, especially when she, herself, was having difficult dealing with said emotions.
Taking a long deep breath, Kahlan returned his gaze. "Yes, it is," she replied firmly, and then turned, taking a hold of the reins of her horse, and began leading the mare away.
She could sense Richard narrow his eyes and give an expression that said this conversation wasn't over, but at the moment, Kahlan did not want to deal with it. She needed some time to think and come to terms with what had almost happened.
Kahlan jabbed at the embers with a stick, trying to stir up more heat. When night had descended, so had the cold. And for some reason, it felt colder than normal to Kahlan. She had retrieved a blanket out of her pack and had draped it over her shoulders, yet still she was cold. Richard was tending to the horses as she saw to the campfire. They had eaten their supper in silence, stealing glances, but little more had been said that day other than what had been necessary.
She poked the embers a little more, but the heat and light would not increase. The damn thing seemed stubbornly set against reigniting. Kahlan sat back and crossed her arms, decidedly annoyed at the fire for not cooperating. The sharp snap of a twig called her attention to the left. Looking up, she saw Richard emerging out of the shadows with some more wood for the fire.
"You need to add more fuel to the flame to keep it going," he spoke in a neutral voice, kneeling down to add the branches he had collected to the campfire. After he stoked it a few times with another branch, the embers reignited and warm flames appeared, breathing in more light to the surrounding camp.
"Thanks," she spoke softly as she tugged the blanket tighter around her shivering frame.
"No problem," Richard said with a bob of his head, as he slipped down from his crouch to sit down next to her. The heat radiating out from his body was almost warmer than that coming from the campfire.
Kahlan involuntarily shivered, yet this time not from the cold, but from the feelings that stirred in her chest. She shifted uncomfortably, not truly trying to distance herself from Richard, but that was the unintended result.
Richard turned his head slightly and glanced over at her. "Kahlan… we need to talk," he broached softly.
"Talk? About what?" she played dumb, but from the look he gave her, Kahlan knew he wasn't buying it. She sighed and gave a reluctant nod of her head. "All right."
"We almost had sex," Richard said bluntly, his cheeks flushing a bit as he spoke. His eyes widened a bit, and Kahlan had the distinct feeling his imagination was starting to run wild with the possibilities… possibilities that could never be.
"Yes," she replied softly, nodding. "But… we didn't. Thank the Spirits we didn't."
Richard swallowed hard and looked at her with big sad eyes. "Would it have been that bad if we had?" he asked, his voice trembling slightly.
Kahlan raised her eyebrows. It was her turned to swallow past the lump in her throat. She coughed slightly, in a vain attempt to hide her embarrassment. "No…," she forced out with a shake of her head, hoping that her long hair would cover her blush.
He eased closer to her and one of his hands unconsciously found its way onto her knee. "Then… if circumstances would have been different…?" he began.
"If…," Kahlan nodded, swallowing hard, feeling her heart hammer profoundly in her chest.
Before she could finish her thought, Richard's lips were crushing against hers. Kahlan let out a moan, and without intending it, kissed him back. Soon, she was falling back, letting him move over her. His hand strayed up her leg and came to rest on her hip as she opened for him. He settled himself between her legs and Kahlan gasped, feeling the intensity of his desire. Before she could say anything, he was kissing her again, ramming his mouth against hers, his tongue battling with hers. His other hand lost itself in her hair before sliding down her slender neck to work towards her breasts.
Kahlan moaned deep into his mouth as his hand cupped her breast, and she grinded her hips against his. Her cheeks flushed as she again felt his desire for her press up against her. She was rapidly losing control. His body moved over hers and she could feel his other hand begin to work its way up her skirt. A moan escaped her lips as his fingers skidded across her bare thigh while his other hand squeezed and teased her breast. The strum of her powers beat within her chest and Kahlan knew she had to stop this soon… but it was all so delicious and wonderful.
She wanted to do more… much more. But it was terrifying her that as his hand got closer and closer to that spot between her legs, the more powerful and intense her powers tug on her gut became. They had not even connected and Kahlan was already losing that tenuous control over her powers. That, above all else, scared her the most.
Groaning, she pushed him back and rolled way, turning her back to him. "Richard… no," she nearly sobbed. "We… we can't."
"I… I know," he spoke with heavy breaths, his mouth ajar.
She turned around to face him, and Kahlan's eyes immediately became glued to his lips. Oh, how she loved the feel of his lips on hers. The way they caressed her flesh when he had kissed her neck. She wanted nothing more than to lay beneath him and submit to him in a way that no confessor had ever submitted to a man before. But that was impossible. What happened to Kieran and Vivian was testament to that. Amfortas may have overreacted, in denying the two their reunion in the Underworld, but the wizard had been right about the dangers of them becoming intimate.
"No… you don't," Kahlan said, placing a hand on his chest, feeling the drum of his heart. "You may say you do, even think you do, but you don't."
Richard sighed and looked down at her hand. "Then tell me," he said with a heavy sigh. "If anything… you owe me an explanation."
Kahlan found herself having to swallow past that bloody lump again. Why did life have to be so unfair? Out of all the men in the world she could have fallen in love with, why did it have to be Richard? Her life would have been far easier if she had never known what love was. It would have been easier to do her duty and nothing more. Now, doing her duty would be even harder, knowing that Richard loved her, yet could never be with her, that she would eventually have to lie with another to continue the line of confessors, as confessors have done since the dawn of their kind. For them there was no such thing as physical love. The act was merely the method by which more confessors were conceived. There was never any love involved… well, not real love, maybe the forced love a the confessed, but never a love like the one she could always sense emanating from Richard.
"I… I can't," she murmured, looking away and letting her hand drop.
"Why?" he inquired, sounding both frustrated and angry.
"Because…," Kahlan began, but stumbled on her words. She heaved in a deep breath and bit back her tears. "Because the truth is to painful for me to bear."
She jumped when she felt his strong hands on her face. He gripped her firmly, yet not too hard that it hurt. Closing her eyes, she did not resist as he pulled her head up to look at him. "Open your eyes," he commanded in a firm voice. "Look at me."
"I… I can't," she shuddered, keeping her eyes firmly closed.
"Why not?" he questioned. "Why can't you look at me?"
"Because…," she almost internally groaned with how pathetic she sounded. Here she was, the Mother Confessor, having been named as such by her fellow confessors a little over a month ago, and she could not even bring herself to look upon the face of the man she loved. She was afraid, not just over hurting him, but of admitting her own feelings.
She had come dangerously close to telling him her true feelings after they had saved him from Denna. But he had been too hurt and conflicted after learning from Denna—and not from her—about how her powers could affect him. They had just witnessed what it had done to Kieran, so now Kahlan was even more worried than before of telling him how she truly felt. It felt wrong to tell him when nothing could come of those feelings.
"Kahlan, talk to me, please?" Richard's voice was soft and reassuring. He shifted, pulling her to his chest as he hugged her in a comforting embrace.
Kahlan relaxed into his hold and rested her head on his shoulder. She permitted herself a soft cry. With anyone else Kahlan would be ashamed and embarrassed to appear vulnerable or weak, but with Richard it was different. Everything about him was different. He was the only man she had ever met that had made her wish she had never been born a confessor.
"Talk to me, Kahlan," Richard pleaded with her again, his hands soothingly running down her back.
"I… I…," Kahlan choked back her tears. Sucking in a deep breath, she pulled out of his hold and looked into his eyes. "I love you, Richard."
His eyebrows shot up and for a moment Kahlan was terrified she had just made everything worse. Then his eyes softened and filled with a warm feeling that melted her heart. His hand came up and he caressed the side of her face. She closed her eyes and eased into his touch, moaning softly as his hand moved into her long lush hair.
"I love you, too, Kahlan," he breathed out in a low voice thick with emotion, leaning forward and capturing her lips in a soft chaste kiss before backing away.
She blinked, startled. Raising a hand, she ran her fingertips along her lips. Kahlan had not expected his admission or the chaste kiss. If anything, once she had told him her true feelings, she had expected something more… well, something more raw and intense. Something more passionate and wild that would have swept her off her feet and resulted in the terrible tragedy of the Seeker becoming confessed.
Kahlan looked down and found her hand in his, his thumb tenderly rubbing the back of her hand. She took a deep breath and glanced up at him.
"Richard?" she questioned.
"I will find a way," he declared softly, his gaze powerful and intense as he looked into her eyes. His stare left her breathless, and Kahlan was almost positive he could see her soul. His grip tightened. "I promise you that, Kahlan," he continued. "Once all this is said and done, I'm going to find a way for us to be together."
"You… you would do that for me?" Kahlan asked in a quivering voice.
Richard smiled and cupped her face in his hand. "For you, Kahlan, I'd go to the ends of the world and back."
Her mouth dropped in amazement, leaving her caught off guard for the surprise kiss he gave her. Kahlan closed her eyes and moaned softly, letting her hand rest on his chest. Breathing heavily, they leaned back and rested their foreheads together.
"Promise," Kahlan whispered as they shared a breath.
He heaved in a deep breath and his eyes stared locked with hers. "Always," he replied.
Kahlan had to remind herself to breath. She was overwhelmed with how the entire incident in the crypt had changed things between them, forcing them to confront and admit their feelings. Before he could back away, Kahlan grabbed a fistful of his shirt and pulled him back. "Just don't take too long," she urged, and then smashed her lips to his, savoring the feel and taste of his mouth.
The rest of the evening was much more pleasant and relaxing than the former. They snuggled before the fire as Richard opened the book Gryff had given him and read some more tales about previous Seekers. Kahlan could not help but smile at the sound of his voice. It was smooth and reassuring, and oh so confident and hopeful.
"Well, I think that's enough stories for tonight," Richard said, yawning slightly as he closed the book, marking his place with the ribbon. "We should get some sleep."
Kahlan sighed and inclined her head, easing back out of his hold. She brushed her hair away from her face and glanced up into his eyes. "Will… will you hold me tonight as a sleep?" she asked, knowing that this was one of the rare occasions that it was possible. With Zedd gone they could explore their relationship a little further without him interfering or interrupting.
Richard smiled and inclined his head. He got up and brought his bedroll over besides hers. Kahlan smiled and eased down next to him, wiggling her back into his chest. She sighed contently as his arm wrapped around her waist and tugged her close. There was still that small stirring of fear in the pit of her stomach, but the feel of his warm body besides her was making it easier to bear.
She felt his warm breath on her ear as his hand brushed her hair away from her neck. "One day, we shall be together, Kahlan," he murmured into her ear, before lightly kissing her neck. "I promise."
Kahlan sighed and closed her eyes, listening the faint sounds of the crackling fire and his smooth and evened breaths. She wondered how long she could hold out knowing how he felt. Not to mention how long Richard could hold out knowing how she felt! He was, after all, a man, and men had needs, needs that she could never fulfill… at least not yet. She shook her head and settled back up against him more, needing the reassurance of his presence.
The future was still unknown. Yet now, there was one thing she knew for certain. No matter what, she wanted that future to somehow involve Richard. And if she had her way—if fate ever granted her that—Kahlan would be a wife to Richard… in every way.