Title: The First Day of All Our Tomorrows
Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: The gang makes camp on Dahlia's first day traveling with them.
Note: Takes place on the same universe as "A Light That Never Went Out" and picks up directly after the events of that story.
When the sky began to blaze with the rusty hue of sunset and our heroes pulled their horses to a stop to make camp for the night, Dahlia was asleep, leaning heavily against the front of Cara's body, one of Cara's arms securely wrapped around her waist while the other controlled their horse.
Kahlan turned to meet Richard's eyes and he gave her a knowing smile before they dismounted, but they both made an effort not to watch Cara with open amusement as she contemplated the sleeping woman in her arms and how to wake her.
If it had been anyone besides Dahlia who was asleep, the Seeker and Mother Confessor knew that Cara would have rudely shaken the sleeper into wakefulness without a second thought, but it was Dahlia who slumbered in Cara's embrace, and waking her required a more delicate approach – which was something that Cara was still learning.
As she began to untie her saddle bags, Kahlan discreetly observed Cara running her hands up and down Dahlia's arms as she spoke softly into Dahlia's ear, and as Kahlan flung her bags over her shoulder in preparation for the walk over the center of their camp, she saw Cara press her lips to Dahlia's cheek and had to bite down on her own lip in order to stop herself from smiling.
A few minutes later, Cara and Dahlia joined the others in the central part of what would become their camp. Dahlia was a bit blurry eyed and stiff, but otherwise she seemed to have weathered her first day on the road well as there was a smile on her lips when she sheepishly greeted the others.
Once gathered they had a brief discussion – mostly for Dahlia's benefit – about how to split up tasks, and then they broke up to perform their usual jobs.
Zedd moved off to collect firewood and once that was done he would cast protection spells around the perimeter of the camp. Richard and Cara stalked off into the woods to find some meat for their supper, and Kahlan began to sort their supplies so that everything would be ready when Zedd returned with the kindling.
They had all performed these tasks hundreds of times in the past, but on that evening Dahlia helped Kahlan complete her tasks. The work went by much faster with a second set of hands, and by the time Zedd returned with kindling for the fire, the camp was set up and Kahlan and Dahlia were resting on a fallen log, talking and laughing about an unfortunate mishap Dahlia had suffered trying to apply kohl to her eyes as a teenager.
"What?" Kahlan asked as Zedd watched the two of them with some amusement after dropping the kindling in his arms to the ground. "Don't give me that look. It's nice to finally have another girl around," Kahlan continued.
Zedd's lips parted and the words, "Cara's been with us for ..." escaped from him, but before he could say more Kahlan and Dahlia turned to look at each other and Dahlia began to laugh, which made Kahlan start to laugh as well.
"Cara's definitely female," Dahlia began once her laughter began to abate.
"But she's not really a 'girl'," Kahlan added, making a vague gesture with her hand which Zedd was sure he was meant to understand, but didn't.
"Exactly," Dahlia agreed. "She's not very concerned with girly things," the healer continued thoughtfully. "For instance, Cara arranges her knife collection instead of flowers," she said, her example making Kahlan laugh again. "Though, I suppose she has to since she has a lot of knives," Dahlia finished contemplatively.
"She collects them," Kahlan informed Dahlia helpfully.
Dahlia was quiet and still for a moment, and then she nodded her head.
"Everyone needs a hobby," Dahlia declared, and even Zedd cracked a smile at that. "The point is that sometimes a Mother Confessor would like to talk about cross-stitching, or trade make-up tips, or coo about babies," Dahlia continued seriously, looking up at Zedd.
"Well, Richard will coo about babies," Kahlan said, "more than me actually," she murmured a second later, causing Dahlia's lips to turn up in amusement.
Zedd observed the two women for a moment and then turned to look towards the tree-line.
"They have no idea what they're in store for, do they?" he asked, more amused than concerned for Richard and Cara.
"No," Dahlia responded smiling sweetly.
"Probably not," Kahlan agreed pleasantly.
Zedd shrugged and sat down on the log beside Kahlan.
"Well, if we're talking about cross-stitches," Zedd began, wiggling a bit to make himself comfortable, either unaware of or not caring about the fact that his movements caused Kahlan to lean heavily into Dahlia and before it actually forced them both to shift over, "I've got a tear in my cloak and I've been puzzling over how to ..."
Meanwhile, in the woods...
The woods were silent but for the gentle rustle of the leaves and faint hum of insects as Richard and Cara crept through the brush, their eyes scanning the ground for animal tracks. They had left Ragora with plenty of provisions, but there was no point in choking down dried venison when one could enjoy warm stew with fresh, juicy chunks of rabbit.
"So," Richard whispered, striving for a conversational tone despite how low he had to keep his voice so as to not scare away any potential prey, "it's nice having Dahlia around, isn't it?"
Cara turned her head to look at him, her eyes narrowing in exasperation as she did.
"It's been less than a day," Cara muttered before turning her eyes back to the ground.
"Well, yeah," Richard replied, having to concede the point that Dahlia hadn't been traveling with them for an exceedingly long period of time, "but still," he pressed on. "It's nice, right?"
Cara turned to look at him again and her features started to contort in irritation, but halfway through making an expression she changed her mind and simply sighed before she looked away and muttered, "Yes, nice," under her breath.
Richard kept his eyes on Cara for a few seconds after that, but Cara resolutely kept her eyes on the ground, and Richard sighed.
"It has to be a bit strange though," Richard prompted, trying to draw Cara into stringing a few words together instead of basically grunting responses at him.
"I guess," Cara muttered a bit peevishly as she looked up at the increasingly dark sky.
"Kahlan really enjoys having her around," Richard tried again. "I think it's nice for her to ..."
"Lord Rahl," Cara interjected before he could say more.
Richard cringed a bit at the use of his title. It was never good when Cara used his title. It was a harbinger of doom, like a mother yelling her child's first, middle and last name out of the kitchen window.
"Yes, Cara?" Richard inquired.
"It's growing dark. Perhaps we should focus on hunting right now. When we've fed our women and are resting by the fire you can once again begin harassing me about my feelings."
"Cara, I'm not harassing you. I'm just ... I'm taking an interest in your life," Richard exclaimed, his eyes scrunching together a little bit as he watched her in dismay.
Cara paused for a moment to consider his words.
"There's no difference," the blonde declared a moment later.
Richard sighed again and then dropped his eyes to the ground, scanning it for a few moments before pointing something out to Cara.
"This way," he said, resigning himself to defeat.
He may have been Lord Rahl, but somehow Cara ended up getting her way most of the time.
Cara nodded and began to follow Richard in the direction the tracks led.
Later that evening...
The temperature dropped along with the sun, and even with a fire burning in front of them the night air held a chill. Dahlia said not a word in complaint, but Cara had detected the shivers running through her body, and though Dahlia seemed admirably willing to ignore the discomfort of the chilly air, Cara would not stand for it.
The way Cara saw it, she had two options when it came to warming Dahlia up and both of them would led to Kahlan and Richard looking at her like she was a frolicking puppy, so she decided to go with the option that would bring her the most pleasure in order to offset the irritation Kahlan and Richard would provoke in her.
So, setting her face firmly, Cara ignored the blanket in her saddle bag and glared challengingly across the fire at Richard and Kahlan as she slipped closer to Dahlia, and when she was near enough to Dahlia, Cara drew her into her arms.
Cara noticed Richard and Kahlan share one of their insufferable looks as she gathered Dahlia into her arms, but neither of them said anything and they both soon turned their attention back to the conversation that Dahlia and Zedd were having.
"What always ends everything?" Dahlia asked staring at Zedd.
"The letter 'g'," Zedd replied, smirking victoriously. "When is the best time to have lunch?" the Wizard asked, raising a smug furry white eyebrow at Dahlia.
"After breakfast, of course," Dahlia responded grinning. "What makes a man bald-headed?"
Zedd was quiet for a moment, deep in thought. After all, when speaking to a wizard there could be many answers to that question, but eventually Zedd nodded to himself and focused on Dahlia once again.
"That would be a lack of hair," he declared. "When is a yellow dog most likely to enter a house?"
Dahlia's lips immediately parted to respond, but she paused and then quickly pressed her lips together as she contemplated Zedd's question.
"Do not let him defeat you," Cara whispered into Dahlia's ear as Dahlia pondered. "If he's victorious he'll be impossible to be around for days."
Dahlia tilted her head back and turned slightly so that she could see Cara's face.
"That's not helpful," Dahlia muttered, frowning at the lover.
"Maybe not, but it's true," Cara replied and despite herself Dahlia smiled.
"Can you repeat the question?" Dahlia asked a few seconds later, focusing on Zedd once again.
"That," Zedd declared grandly, "is a soon-to-be losers request, but I shall indulge you," he continued smiling, though the self-satisfied expression wavered slightly when he noticed Cara's hand inch towards one of the agiels attached to her belt which was resting in the grass beside her – close enough to snatch up quickly but far enough away that it would not accidentally touch Dahlia.
"We'll see about that," Dahlia said in response. "Please repeat the question."
"When is a yellow dog most likely to enter a house?"
Dahlia smirked and replied, "When the door is open. What do we often return but never borrow?"
"Thanks," Zedd responded quickly. "What is the difference between a farmer and a seamstress?"
On the other side of the fire Richard's eyes moved back and forth between Zedd and Dahlia as if he were watching fighters circle each other, waiting for an opportunity to strike.
"How long do you think they can keep this up?" Richard whispered to Kahlan with a touch of trepidation in his voice.
"As of ten seconds ago any longer is too long," Kahlan sighed making Richard smile and then scrunch his eyebrows together in consternation because it was true.
"I'm surprised Cara's taking it so well," Richard commented a few seconds later.
"I'm not," Kahlan replied. "She's been staring down the top of Dahlia's dress since she slid over beside her. She's like a boy at a barn dance."
"She hasn't been," Richard began disbelievingly, but even as he spoke his gaze drifted past Dahlia to Cara. "And you're right," he continued a moment later. "She is seems … captivated," Richard observed, chewing on his bottom lip to stop from laughing.
"Mm," Kahlan hummed. "Better that than have her be bored."
Richard was quiet for a moment as his mind drifted in contemplation of Kahlan's words. Truer words had never been spoken, not even from a Confessor.
"It's nice having Dahlia around, isn't it?" He asked shortly after Kahlan spoke and she laughed softly as Zedd triumphantly declared, 'Because then it would be a foot!"
Cara stood beside the bedroll Dahlia was wrapped in and watched her for a while, contemplating what to do. Dahlia was sleeping peacefully and Cara didn't want to wake her, but Cara had gotten used to falling asleep next to Dahlia during their stay in Ragora, and while she knew she could sleep without Dahlia in her arms, she didn't particularly want to.
Richard was standing by the fire, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet, trying to wake himself up as he prepared to take over the watch from Cara. The lingering fog of sleep had kept Richard distracted for a while, but Cara had noticed him glance at her a few seconds before and she knew that she had to make a decision soon or Richard would start trying to talk to her about her feelings again.
Cara turned her head in Richard's direction, but when she saw that his curious eyes were on her again she quickly looked away from him and lowered herself into a crouch beside the bedroll. She then reached out and carefully lifted the edge of the blanket and slipped in behind Dahlia, covering them both with the blanket before draping her arm over Dahlia waist and settling in behind her.
Dahlia looked so lovely and innocent asleep that Cara wanted to kiss her pale neck and her soft cheeks and the delicate curve of her jaw before she slipped beneath the blanket and kissed her way down Dahlia's body to the sweet spot between her legs where she could truly pay her worship.
However, Dahlia was asleep, and even if she wasn't, Cara was certain that despite how good she would make Dahlia feel that Dahlia would not respond well to Cara pleasuring her while Kahlan and Zedd slept on the other side of the fire and Richard patrolled the perimeter of the camp.
"Mm," Dahlia moaned, wiggling a little against Cara, stretching out, before she shifted in Cara's arms so that they were face to face. "Are we safe?" Dahlia asked sleepily, smiling softly as she flirted with wakefulness.
"Yes," Cara murmured, watching Dahlia fondly as the brunette nuzzled her neck and then relaxed again, placing her head on Cara's shoulder. "Or at least we were when I was on watch," she added and Dahlia smiled up at her which made the corners of Cara's lips twitch up as well.
"That's my girl," Dahlia whispered affectionately, and then she tilted her head up and pressed her lips to Cara's, softly at first and then with a bit more heat when Cara sighed contently into her mouth and brought her hand to Dahlia's face, cupping it tenderly but also holding Dahlia in place so that Cara could continue to kiss her.
"Mistress," Cara breathed out, her voice scratchy with arousal as she smirked over at Dahlia. "That's my Mistress."
"I don't think so. Your ego doesn't need any more stroking," Dahlia replied, shaking her head from side to side with playful militancy. "'My girl' will do just fine," Dahlia continued, laughing softly when Cara leaned forward and nipped at her neck in teasing warning, "And, on occasion, perhaps Pookie?"
Cara's features twisted into a portrait of distaste and Dahlia smiled and darted forward quickly so that she could kiss the tip of Cara's nose, striking before Cara had a chance to realize what she was doing and draw her head back. As it was, Cara exhaled irritably when Dahlia kissed her nose, but when Dahlia shifted her lips down to Cara's mouth the blonde didn't hesitate to respond.
"Honey?" Dahlia whispered into Cara's mouth.
Cara's face screwed up into an even more disgusted look.
"Sweetie? Dearest?" Dahlia tried, but all suggestions were met with Cara vehemently shaking her head and making appalled facial expressions that charmed every inch of Dahlia – though Dahlia knew that Cara would attempt to not make an expression for days, if not weeks, if Cara realized just how cute Dahlia found it. "Schnooks?"
"You're making them up now," Cara accused, frowning at Dahlia before she nuzzled her face against Dahlia's neck.
"Yeah," Dahlia drawled, "but it's better than doodle-bug."
"Not by much," Cara groused. "I officially do not agree to be addressed by any of those names."
"What about, Ca?" Dahlia asked, looking at her curiously.
"It's the least objectionable, but I'm not thrilled about it," Cara responded.
"So, what should I address you as? Mistress Cara, former First Sister at the Temple of Amun, Saviour of the Night Wisps and Untold Scores of Puppies, Head of Scowling and Chief Rabbit Hunter for the True Lord Rahl?" Dahlia asked cheekily.
"You forgot Expert Pleasurer of Women, Slayer of Shadrin's, Rescuer of Do-Gooders, and Empress of the Agiel," Cara drawled in response, her lips curving up when Dahlia rolled her eyes at her.
"Not to mention High Chancellor of Humility," Dahlia breathed sarcastically, "and, of course ... Queen of my Heart," she cooed softly a second later, stroking Cara's cheek tenderly and she gazed at her with infinite affection.
Cara's skin flushed in response to Dahlia's words and she moaned and tilted her head to the side so that Dahlia could no longer look deeply into her eyes.
"You go too far woman," Cara declared a few seconds later.
"What are you going to do about it?" Dahlia asked cheekily.
"I'm going to have to silence you," Cara growled softly, narrowing her eyes in playful menace.
"Is that a thr ..." Dahlia began to say, but before she could finish her question, Cara stretched up and brought their lips together in a deep, sweet kiss, that had Dahlia following Cara with her lips her search of more sweetness when Cara attempted to pull back.
"The ground's not exactly welcoming," Dahlia husked, nuzzling her face against the warm skin of Cara's neck, kissing the soft skin she found there a few times before she continued talking. "But I miss the privacy of a bedroom much more than the bed itself," she whispered, her voice laced with the desire that was coursing through her body.
Cara closed her eyes and breathed in deeply as a shot of arousal spiked through her, and under the blanket her bare hand began to creep up Dahlia's thigh towards the hidden warmth of her sex.
"Cara!" Dahlia exclaimed in alarm sharply, but quietly, her eyes immediately darting from side to side to see if anyone had noticed, relaxing only when she saw that Kahlan and Zedd were still asleep and that Richard wasn't even within her field of vision. "I want to," Dahlia whispered gently as she drew her eyes back to Cara, "but it's not going to happen with Zedd's snores filling my ears."
Cara angled her head to the side to observe Zedd in slumber, and her eyes took on a menacing look as she contemplated kicking him into sleeping silently, but after indulging in the fantasy for a moment, she sighed and turned back to face Dahlia.
"Tomorrow evening I'll accompany you when you gather supplies," Cara told her decisively.
"I stocked up before we left Ragora. I don't need to gather any ... oh," Dahlia gasped, her cheeks colouring when she realized that Cara was using 'gathering supplies' as a reason for them to sneak off for some alone time. "Yes, of course … gathering supplies. One can't be too prepared after all."
"Exactly," Cara breathed out. "It's not always possible to gather supplies on the road, so one must take the opportunity when it presents itself," she continued softly, watching Dahlia with keen eyes as the brunette licked her lips.
"Supplies must be gathered to the point of exhaustion," Dahlia murmured, voice hitching.
Cara moaned softly and ducked her head down, burying her face in Dahlia's ample bosom as she hugged Dahlia tightly in an attempt to control the lust thundering through her body. For a few seconds Cara thought that it would be impossible for her to resist pushing Dahlia's dress up and setting between her legs, but the feel of Dahlia's body against her and the warmth and softness of her breasts soon began to calm Cara, and, a minute after hugging Dahlia to her Cara loosened her hold and then contently grazed her lips over the tantalizing flesh before her.
"We should sleep before you provoke my passion again," Cara murmured.
"My mere presence provokes your passion," Dahlia responded smirking at Cara.
"Which is why we should sleep soon, before the reality of you drives me to debauchery."
Dahlia smiled and laughed at that, and then Cara shifted up slightly and opened her arms to Dahlia so that they could take up the position they had gotten used to sleeping in when they had spent their nights in Dahlia's cabin.
"Goodnight," Dahlia said softly when they had settled into position, "my sweetest, darlingest, dearest, schnookiest, pookie-est, doodle-bug."
"I'm going to leave you on the side of the road tomorrow," Cara groused in response, though her body remained relaxed and wrapped securely around Dahlia.
Dahlia's body shook in Cara's arm in silent laughter.
"Sleep well, Da," Cara breathed out when Dahlia calmed.
"I will," Dahlia murmured softly, just managing to stifle a yawn as sleep began to prowl at the edges of her consciousness. "I'm with you after all," she exhaled as she brought Cara's hand up to her lips so that she could place a kiss to her palm.
Cara lips twitched up at the gentle press of Dahlia's lips against her skin, and then, when Richard's boots crunched in the underbrush announcing his return to the central part of camp, Cara closed her eyes and finally allowed sleep to claim her.