Title: Catch My Breath
Author: pristineungift
Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
Rating: T
Warnings: Spoilers for Eternity.
Summary:Cara did not weep when her son was taken from her arms. Cara/Kahlan friendship/pre-ship, implied past Cara/Darken. Written without a beta in a stream of consciousness format with no editing whatsoever.

Catch My Breath

Cara did not weep when her son was taken from her arms.

She did not want to. She was not that weak.

Cara did not weep when she accepted that her son was dead, killed by his own father.

She wanted to. But she was not strong enough.

Mord'Sith were not ruled by sorrow. Mord'Sith used pain, they were not used by it.

Some days, she couldn't breathe around the jagged rocks in her chest. Some days, she could barely speak around the lump in her throat.

But it was not sorrow, because she couldn't weep.

She did not know what it was, this thing inside her, just behind her heart. It was just out of reach, a festering wound she could not lance. It was ice. It made her cold. It was stone. It dragged her down.

It was black death clawing at her throat from the inside out.

"Cara," Kahlan called softly, from across the fire. "I can tell you aren't sleeping. You haven't slept well since..."

Cara sat up, looking past Kahlan, to the stars hanging in the night sky. "Say it."

"Since you learned of your son."

"Why should that disturb me?" Cara asked. "I never knew the boy."

Kahlan rose, moving quietly so as not to wake Richard and Zedd. She settled next to Cara, placing her hand on Cara's own.

Cara's face remained blank, but she did not move away.

"He was your son, Cara. You knew him, whether you ever met him or not. He was part of you."

Cara snorted weakly. "Ridiculous."

Stricken at the hidden truth she saw in Cara's eyes, Kahlan pulled her into an embrace. "The bond between mother and child is never ridiculous, Cara."

Inexplicably, without meaning to, without even knowing the tears waited so close, Cara felt her face crumple. It was poison that dripped from her eyes. Hatred that escaped from her lips in sharp gasps of air. It was desperation that made her return Kahlan's embrace.

Shame that made her bury her face in Kahlan's neck, and relief that allowed her to take comfort in Kahlan stroking her hair.

It did not bring her son back, but she reclaimed a part of herself.

She could breathe again.