TITLE: Only in My Dreams


CHARACTERS: Richard / Kahlan


WARNINGS: Author Chooses Not to Use Warnings

TIMELINE: Anything up through S2 Ep 2 Baneling

DISCLAIMER: I'm completely obsessed with the show Legend of the Seeker and all things Richard and Kahlan. I love to write about them even though they cancelled my show and now I'm fighting to get it back!

SUMMARY: Kahlan helps Richard deal with being marked by the Keeper after the events in Baneling. Written from Kahlan's POV.

Walking through the dimly lit woods, the cool evening breeze brushes against my face, lifting the ends of my hair and I can't help but shiver slightly. The lake had provided a much needed respite from the stresses that have suddenly surrounded us. But there is one that needs a reprieve much more than me.

I'm finding it more than difficult to subdue the fear that is constantly growing within me. So much has happened over the last several days, more than I can begin to process. It has left me feeling very unsettled knowing that things are beyond my control, far beyond my reach to fix.

And the worst part is that it all revolves around my Seeker.

My chin falls as the memories of the events of the last few days parade through my mind, reminding me of the internal anguish that Richard is carrying. I wish more than anything that he would allow me in, to help ease his heartache, but he's keeping me at arms' length right now and I don't know why.

I can see it in his eyes that he wants to let me in, but he doesn't. I don't know if he's trying to protect me from what he's going through, an attempt to keep the Keeper from getting near me or if he's trying to be brave because he's the Seeker.

But he doesn't have to prove his bravery or put on a strong front for anyone, least of all me. I already know the incredible courage that flows through his veins. He's proven it to me and to everyone else countless times over the last year.

Whatever his reasons, I can't help the hurt that has invaded my heart. It feels like a ravine has suddenly erupted between us, widening with every passing day. I feel as if I'm slowly losing my Seeker, my best friend, and my heart.

Swallowing back my rising emotions, I remind myself that I am the Mother Confessor and a relationship with my Seeker would only end in heartache as well as the death of the soul of the man I love more than life. I try to steel my heart, reminding myself once again that a life with Richard is beyond impossible…it can never be.

Despite my best intentions, I did not follow my own advice when I had told him that we should bury our feelings for one another that night that we had escaped from Denna. Instead, my love for him has only grown stronger, deeper than anything I could have ever imagined.

Every moment spent in his presence has only drawn us closer together, the desire for each other building to almost unbearable levels. I fear one day that I will lose the control that I so desperately cling to when I am near him, alone with him.

But now there is another with us, one who can be everything that Richard needs, everything that I cannot and I feel the tears rise despite my best efforts.

The wind suddenly whips through the trees, blowing my hair into my face. Grabbing a lock, I pull it behind my ear before quickly wiping my eyes before the drops can fall.

I've never felt such a chaotic storm swirling inside of me before, such a conflict warring deep within my core. I so desperately want what I cannot have, desire a future that can never be. And now, I feel such guilt for the jealousy I feel brewing in my soul.

It's something that I've rarely experienced before, something that I know I shouldn't feel, but when I look at Cara I feel such insecurity, such resentment for what she so freely can give Richard.

What does Richard see in Cara? What is that he feels for her? How can he trust her so fully?

Even though it can never be, I still have come to covet Richard's unending love for me. I should have worked harder at discouraging him, at keeping him from falling in love with me, but I yearned for it, wanted him too much to let him go.

I know that it's my own fault. I allowed this to happen and now I will have to pay the price for my failure, my inability to guard my heart like I had been taught to do so long ago. I know that I will eventually have to let him go in order to take a mate and continue the line of Confessors.

I might as well start letting him go now by allowing whatever is happening between Richard and Cara. Maybe they were meant to be all along.

The thought causes a sob to catch in my throat and I feel my heart shattering within my chest. This will be the hardest thing that I will ever have to do for when I let my Seeker go, he will go with my heart, my love. No man will ever possess it again, no one but him for as long as I live.

Coming to the edge of the forest, I pause at the site of him sitting all alone on a log before our campfire. Night has crept up on us now, helping conceal my presence from him. I watch him as he pokes the fire with a stick, his warm brown eyes focused on the dancing flames and the fountain of sparks his interruption has created.

The sad expression that masks his face causes my stomach to abruptly become a bundle of knots. I want more than anything in this world to take away his pain, to lessen his anguish and erase his fears, but I cannot unless he lets me.

I only want him to be happy. That is my greatest wish for him. I know that I cannot bring him true happiness, fulfill his every desire the way that he needs. I want nothing more in this life than to belong to him in every way, to be his everything like I know he can be for me.

Richard believes with every fiber of his being that we will be together someday. I see the truth of his deep abiding belief reflected in his eyes every time he looks at me and I feel myself wanting to believe too, even dreaming of that future.

And once again I feel torn between what I want and what I know, my heart and my mind constantly playing tug-o-war and I feel trapped in the middle, a hostage of my own doing.

I remind myself once again that I don't even know if Richard still wants me any more now that Cara is here with us. She is beautiful and strong and shares a past with Richard, one that I have no part of, no memory of. There is an obvious bond between the two of them, one that I cannot even begin to understand, but I see it and it leaves me suddenly feeling so lost, so alone.

Richard absentmindedly begins to pick at the stick in his hands, his handsome face full of such intense emotions. I place a hand against a nearby tree as I watch him, my mind beginning to take me to places that I've been thousands of times before in my sleep and my daydreams. I know I shouldn't go there, but I can't help myself. It's the only place where I can finally free myself of the desire that consumes me.

I begin to imagine his hands on my face, my body as he kisses me. I still remember the taste of his last kiss, the feel of his lips against mine. Without even really realizing what I'm doing, my fingers softly brush against my lips as I relive that intense moment when he had returned to me from the future.

My mind begins to take it further, imagining his tongue connecting with mine in that heated moment, his hands drifting from my face to my waist as he roughly pulls me against his body. The desire that I have seen burning in his eyes for me suddenly fills his kisses as our passion begins to take over.

I suddenly realize that I'm breathing heavily, my fingernails digging into the rough bark of the tree beside me. I want him more than I have ever wanted anything in my entire life and I find myself taking a step towards him, closer to the soft circle of light that the campfire casts.

A small twig snaps loudly beneath my boot and Richard immediately turns to find me standing there at the edge of the small clearing. Our eyes meet and I suddenly forget how to breathe as he stares at me for a long moment.

The connection that I feel with this man goes far beyond anything that I have ever experienced with another human being, an intense bond that I cannot explain but feel, know, trust in explicitly.

A small, sad smile tugs at the corners of his lips and I feel the walls that he's building around himself temporarily fall. He abruptly turns his attention back to the fire crackling loudly before him, the smile fading just as quickly as it had appeared. He breaks his stick in half, tossing it into the fire as he returns to the solitary confinement that he has sentenced himself to.

I slowly make my way towards him and the sheer weight of his grief is palpable, hanging thickly in the air and breaking my heart. I am his Confessor, his partner, his friend. I'm supposed to help carry the burdens of our quests and I am more than determined to make him see that.

My pack slips from my hand, my desire to be near him, to force him to let me in becomes too great to ignore. I come to stand before him, getting down on my knees. Stunned, he sits up a little straighter, almost backing away from me, but he suddenly stops, sitting very still as he watches to see what I'm going to do.

A thousand thoughts are spinning in my mind, so many things that I want to say to him, but instead I say nothing at all as the palm of my head comes to rest against the side of his face. His eyes temporarily fall closed with my touch, but his body refuses to relax just yet.

I smile the special smile that belongs only to him and I watch as he swallows hard, his lips parting slightly in response. His eyes begin to grow a little darker with my nearness, his gaze slowly roaming over my face and I feel my heart began to pound a little harder.

With a sudden boldness I had not anticipated, I allow my hand to drop from his face, my fingers gently trailing down his neck to his chest. With my other hand, I part the opening of his shirt. I look up, watching for any signs of reluctance on his part, but all I see is tranquility now in those warm depths.

Returning to my task, I lightly trace over the raised mark on his skin, wishing I could take it upon myself. Every time I catch a glimpse of that mark on his perfect chest, I am reminded of how the man that I love is wanted by the Keeper himself and it terrifies me to the very core of my being. I will fight with my last breath to save him if I have to, to keep him from the Keeper's grasp.

I carefully cover the mark with my hand, my eyes falling closed with the sorrow I feel inside for what is happening to him, what is slowly being taken from him. His confidence, his future, his life.

Removing my hand, I slowly lean in replacing my fingers with my mouth. I tenderly brush my lips against each finger print, every raised bump, pouring my love into every kiss. I linger near his nipple, allowing my tongue to flick out and gently caress it before softly blowing on it.

His hands are suddenly gripping my shoulders and holding me close to him, a heated gasp slipping past his lips and filling my ears. I can't help smiling with his reaction, his response spurring me on and giving me the confidence I hadn't felt.

Even if he was falling in love with Cara, I wanted to at least give him this, allow him a few moments of reprieve from the demons that haunted him. I wanted him to know beyond a doubt that I was here for him, that I would not leave him, but see this through to the end with him no matter what that end may be.

My fingers curl around the edges of his shirt as I continue my tortuously slow assault against his muscular chest. No matter what the future may hold for the two of us, he will know my love in this intimate act. I wish I could do so much more than just this, finally give all of myself to him, to love him the way that he deserves to be loved, but this is all I can do.

I feel his fingers digging into my shoulders, his husky moan filling the air and causing my heart to flutter in response. I begin to kiss my way up his throat, my teeth raking across his skin. He tilts his head, allowing me more room as he pulls me even closer. My hands find his thighs and I grip him tightly as I kiss along his jaw.

Cradled between his legs, I feel my desire for him flame even hotter, my magic beginning to stir, awakening from its slumber. My breasts brush against his chest, our breathing growing more exerted as I linger near his mouth.

I pause, opening my eyes to gaze into his and the passionate flames I see flickering there cause tingles to spike through my body. Our mouths are hovering so close, but not nearly close enough; our panting breaths mingling as we share the same air.

My hand comes to rest against his chest and the feel of his heart hammering beneath my fingers it too much to bear. I lean in kissing him slowly, deeply, savoring the taste of him, this tender moment with him because I know there will likely be no more. Not now, not with Cara here with us, ready to take what she can truly have.

His lips are almost resistant against mine and I know that he is holding himself back, fighting the desire that I feel pulsating through his body. I silently plead with him to let go, to let me in as my greatest fears begin to rise again.

His woodsy scent is intoxicating and I know that I am quickly losing control, but I will hold on for as long as I can for him. As if reading my thoughts, he suddenly takes my face in his powerful hands, kissing me with an intense urgency that makes my legs weak. His tongue is prodding my lips and I gladly bid him welcome. The feel of his tongue stroking my mouth causes a moan to rise deep from within.

My hand begins to stroke his thigh, my other hand finding his hair and holding him close as our kiss grows more passionate. We part for a breath, but then his lips are suddenly on mine again with a renewed vengeance, tilting his head and deepening the kiss even more.

I feel his hunger for me erupting and I want nothing more than for him to lay me down and take me right here, but I feel my magic beginning to gain strength, warning bells going off in my head and I know I have to push him away before I lose him forever.

I unwillingly pull out of his kiss, hating myself for letting it go this far as I press my forehead to his. I close my eyes against the heated rush of tears that come once again with knowing that we can't finish what I've just started.

The warm blasts of his breath pulsating against my face as I try to regain control over my desire only makes it that much harder. The feel of his hand cupping the side of my face causes me to open my eyes. I sadly gaze into those penetrating brown orbs, biting my bottom lip in guilt.

He softly smiles at me, one that sends a shiver racing up my spine. "Thank you," he whispers.

I smile in return, relieved to see the worry gone from his eyes for just a little while. He pulls me into his arms, holding me close for a several long moment. The only sound is the crack and pop of the fire behind me as I savor this moment spent alone with my Seeker.

The feeling of being cradled in his protective embrace fills me with overwhelming peace and once again I feel that everything will be alright between us, the distance that had been created between us suddenly gone for the moment as he rubs my back. I love the feel of him hiding his face in my hair, holding me close as he attempts to hide from the demons that hunt him.

I don't know where Cara and Zedd have wandered off to, but I am more than grateful as I bury my face in the crook of his neck. I brush a soft kiss against his throat before inhaling his scent one more time, holding onto it to take with me into my dreams, the only place I can finish what I started with him tonight.

I reluctantly pull out of his embrace, fighting back the tears that are determined to form, but I am more determined as I stand to my feet. He suddenly grasps my hand as I turn away from him, squeezing it tightly before releasing it.

I make my way to my pack on the other side of the fire. I feel his eyes on me as I spread out my bedroll, pulling my blanket from my pack. I lay down on my side with my back to him, wishing that he was laying here with me, his arms wrapped tightly around me again.

I close my eyes, relishing the taste of him that still lingers on my tongue, the warm tingling that still permeates my lips. I pray that sleep comes quickly, knowing that Richard will follow me into my dreams. I know because we are connected, Seeker and Confessor. He is in my heart, goes with me everywhere I go.

I know tomorrow will still hold the same anguish and heartache that today has held, but for tonight…tonight I will be with my Richard again the way that we should be…if only in my dreams.