Disclaimer: Nothing of LotS belongs to me (such a pity!) - no business, just fan-fun
Note: Cara being a baneling, almost dying - and Kahlan barely showing her emotions...it didn´t feel right! (didn´t you feel the same?) and as I rewatched "Hunger", I thought again, that there must have been more that troubled her inwardly... so, that´s what came out...
Hope you enjoy it!
She sat at the fire, alone, lost in her thoughts. Zedd had asked Richard to join him, making sure that his brother would get home safely, and he had agreed; more than grateful for an excuse to escape the strange tension that had settled on all of them. Tension of guilt and shame. Each of them feeling it for their own reasons. She had seen his eyes beaming with relief when he left. And Kahlan hadn´t objected.
She, herself, had been much too glad to gain some time on her own to get her mind clear...
She had taken watch, her narrowed eyes forbidding any argument, and now she found herself sitting on a log and staring into the flames. Her long retained composure had swept away as soon as a soft, even breath told her that she was left with herself. The low crackling fire did its best to sooth her troubled mind with soft dances of lights and shadows.
It didn´t even reach her. She sat motionless, her eyes following some sizzling sparks on their fleeting attempt to become stars above. But inwardly she saw the same one picture, flashing up again and again, forcing unnoticed tears to roll slowly down her cheeks.
The horror was still there, lurking under her skin. That flagrant bewilderment that had befallen her heart out of the nothing.
Never...never had she considered that something like this could happen. And yet it had happened! It had happened without any warning. Without any indication. Without the slightest chance to prepare for the impossible.
Under deeply furrowed brows Kahlan stared into the fire, trying to find her balance, to center herself.
To comprehend the famous gift that the gracious spirits had granted her today.
She felt her thoughts whirling uncontrollably through her mind. Nothing seemed real, nothing true.
She had always known that they were risking their lives. Countless times they had; in every battle they fought. She had never hesitated. She had never questioned her duty, her place at the Seeker´s side. She had always been ready to risk everything. And there had been only one, whom she had always been worried about: Richard!
Sighing the Confessor loosened her gaze from the sizzling flames, searching the sleeping form behind the fire. There she saw her lying, almost melted into the shadows. Half curled into a ball, like a troubled child. Her face was turned towards her. With the golden firelight dancing over her features she seemed calm and relaxed, as if she had finally found some peace in her slumber. The deep crease that had settled on her forehead during the last days was almost gone. The flickering flames caressed her features in a way that made the brunette smile with warmth. Under her head she had an arm folded as a pillow and a stubborn wisp of blonde hair dangled across her face, swaying softly with the light breezes of her breath. It made her face looking incredibly soft; and young. Somewhat... innocent even.
A sad chuckle escaped Kahlan´s lips.
Innocent! Certainlythatwould be the last notion that would cross someone's mind if the topic was Cara!
Cara was a dangerous woman. A fierce and ruthless warrior. And it was the pride of her life to be Mord Sith. Kahlan tried briefly to imagine what would happen, if someone would dare calling her innocent! And sighed resigned.
– It would be probably bloody, painful and tantalizing.
Smiling faintly the brunette allowed her eyes to travel, trailing from perfectly arched eyebrows to lips, full and promising, sliding tenderly over the line of a proud chin down the neck and along the curves below. Under the blanket she could easily follow the soft shape of her shoulders down to her waist, over her thighs…. The sight so familiar. Kahlan could have blindly traced every line.
Covering her face with her palms she shook her head in confusion. Her thoughts drifting into the past. So long the blonde had been at her side.
Yet, if there would have been a chance, she would have confessed and killed her in the very first moment of their unwelcomed relationship. More than once she had felt the urgent need for vengeance and, what she would have called justice. Cara had been a walking threat! She was the one who had murdered her sister – and she had come dangerously close to Richard.
Mord Sith like her had always been bloodthirsty monsters to her. Unscrupulous machines, drilled for killing. The circumstances then had prohibited to eliminate this one; but it had taken long to get over her distrust, to sleep calmly with Cara on watch. And into the bargain, beneath her suspicions, there had always lain nagging jealousy. She had seen the beautiful green-eyed blonde as jeopardy to her love.
Though, somewhere down the road, she couldn´t tell when or why, she had started to trust Cara.
And while Richard had been gone with the Sisters of Light, and Zedd had been lost with Denna, the blonde had slowly dug her way behind her walls. Had managed somehow to sneak on hidden paths into her heart. A new kind of respect had grown between them, a rough friendship that was unexpected to her, but finally more than welcome. During cold nights, when despair and loneliness had settled at their campfire, Cara had been there. Her mere presence solacing. Warming her skin and her soul in her very own brittle way. Barely recognizing it, they had affiliated. And were gone through so many rough times and battles before they had found Zedd and Richard again.
Cara had been there to keep her upright when she went weak. To give her strength when she hesitated.
To make her smile...
Snapping at her teasingly. Soothing her every concerns...
She couldn´t imagine her life without the blonde close to her. And she would never want to!
AND NOW THIS!
She had died! She was gone to the underworld and was as good as lost!
Sudden pain made her wince; a low sob swept from her lips. The very thought of having Cara lost almost caught her breath.
How was this possible, Cara? How could I´ve been so blind?
She slipped her eyes close, entirely in the hands of her self-reproaches.
I didn´t recognize something was wrong! I haven´t seen the pain, the agony you went through!...
How desperate must the blonde have felt to agree to Rahl´s pact. In the face of the Keeper´s threat in case she failed at sacrificing him living souls.
Salty wetness glistened on Kahlan´s face, but she didn´t notice. Too present was the cruel vision in her mind:
Cara. The rotten marks of the Keeper´s foul touch broadly visible on her beautiful face. Whacked. Desperate. Irrevocable...
Again Kahlan felt the freezing grip of horror reaching for her heart; as she had felt it twisting her insides last night, when her blood run cold. When Cara, with the stamp of the underworld on her skin, had sent her away to die alone...
Dry sobs shook her body. She buried her face in her hands, sending a silent pray to the gracious Spirits in sincere gratitude for their unexpected gift, for the rescue in the nick of time. For bestowing on her the life of this woman, who meant so much to her, just when she had already thought her lost...
It took her a while to regain her countenance. All that guilt inside her weighed too heavy...But finally she swallowed a last sob and shifted her head. Wiping away the silent tears still rolling down her cheeks she took a deep breath and her eyes searched once more the silhouette that lay behind the fire site – only to lose herself in glowing emerald green, resting steadfastly on her.
Cara had sat up, her legs folded under her body. Her gaze had locked on Kahlan´s features, watching her with a look in her eyes that threatened to break the Confessor´s heart in an instant. All she could do was staring back, taking in the vulnerability that lay unhidden in those green eyes, and flashes of memory overwhelmed her. Cara´s stunned expression as Thaddicus had sacrificed his own life to safe her, how ashamed she had been as she had thanked him when he left, still hardly believing that a stranger had set her life beyond his own. Her shaky voice when she had tried to explain...
And suddenly she understood, what it had been, What had lain in Cara´s voice, and, much more, what her eyes had betrayed, as much as they did now:
"You must think of me as a monster, for accepting the offer..."
Cara was frightened!
The blonde Mord Sith, this proud and offish woman that looked at her now with the eyes of a wounded animal, was afraid what she, Kahlan, would think of her. That she would condemn her. That she would abandon her for what she had done.
Kahlan´s chest flooded with tender softness and with warmth that made her skin prickle and her eyes spill with tears again.
Ever so slowly she rose and approached the blonde, her eyes never letting go the deep green gaze, watching as Cara´s eyes widened and her shoulders stiffened. She came to her knees in front of the blonde, taking her cold hands in her own warms.
And looking deep into Cara´s eyes she could easily see behind her masks, saw all her pain and all her bruises, those, that had left the non-visible scars.
Her hand reached out to gently stroke her cheek, feeling the tautness of every muscle inside the blonde´s body.
Kahlan´s features softened as she leaned in. Her voice reached Cara´s ears in a husky whisper:
"I am so proud of you, Cara! And I am so glad you did this!"
Breathing short, featherlike kisses on Cara´s face, she added gravelly:
"If it had been me, I would have done the same. I would have sold my soul to the Keeper...
To come back!...
And when she pulled her near and wrapped her arms around her, she smiled as she felt the blonde finally relax with a sigh so deep, as if an iron chain around her chest was flying in pieces...