Pairings: Emo!Kahlan/Richard and HBIC!Kahlan/Darken Rahl
Rating: PG-13 rating might increase
Summary: What happens when Zedd fails to reunite the two halves of Kahlan and HBIC!Kahlan makes an alliance with Darken Rahl?
Author's Notes: For the purpose of this fic, the episode 'Torn' takes place IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING the episode 'Extinction', however Renn isn't there to tell Richard what was in Darken's mind. This fic follows canon up until 'Extinction' with the exception that 'Torn' is no longer episode eleven. I owe a LOT of inspiration for this fic to confessorlove who helped me with plot points and was encouraging me to write.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I just like to make them do my bidding.
He knew nothing was ever easy but until now he never realized how much he relied on the quick fix to problems. Zedd had been so sure he could put Kahlan back together that when the amulet failed to reunite the two halves and instead granted them both some of the emotions they had been lacking, his heart broke. His Kahlan was gone forever. Luckily, by granting one Kahlan more humanity and the other more common sense, confession was somehow broken. At least he could be glad that one of them still loved him even if it wasn’t the same. It would never be the same.
That was two days ago. Now Kahlan’s confessor half was urging them to leave to finish the quest and find the stone, not wanting the Keeper to gain any more power than he already had. Richard was concerned about leaving that power hungry half of Kahlan in charge of Aydindril where she could rule unchecked. It bothered him to think of all the things she would do if given the chance. In the morning he was planning to leave with Zedd, Cara and his half of Kahlan, the part that still cared for him. He knew it was his duty, even if the thought of leaving her behind worried him more than anything else.
When morning came, Richard made his way to the council chambers to speak with the Mother Confessor once more but the moment he stepped through the door his jaw dropped. Kahlan was sitting in her chair, the delicate curls of raven hair falling around her face and shoulders as she listened intently to the man before her. She seemed intrigued by everything he was saying and Richard couldn’t believe it. How could she listen to him? He would know that man anywhere. How did his brother get to Aydindril, much less inside the Confessor’s Palace?
“Rahl!” Richard hollered as he stormed into the room. “What are you doing here?”
Richard paid no heed to the cool glare the Mother Confessor shot in his direction. He saw completely focused on the man standing before him. Richard watched as his brother turned his attention away from Kahlan, his lips twitching up into a small smirk.
“Aren’t you pleased to see me, Brother?” Rahl said in a cool tone, his voice laced with authority as he began circling his younger brother like a lion circled its prey. When Richard did nothing but scowl at him, Darken continued. “I’ve come to offer an alliance with the Mother Confessor here,” he spoke, gesturing to Kahlan who was just watching the scene before he unfold with very little interest. “She seems interested in what I have to offer. After all, you know better than anyone that I am the only person alive who knows what to do with the Stone of Tears.”
Ignoring Rahl, Richard spun on the Mother Confessor. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You can’t be agreeing with this?”
“Why Richard?” She said with that same cool indifference that had coated her voice since she was torn. “Neither one of us wants to see the Keeper take over our lands and by working together we have a chance to stop him. Lord Rahl and I will be accompanying you on your quest. You need him to know what to do with the Stone of Tears and I refuse to trust either of you with something this important. We leave this afternoon.”
Richard stood in complete shock as he watched the Mother Confessor get up and disappear through the doors in the back that lead to her private chambers, Rahl following behind her. It made him sick to think of his brother being so close to her, even if she no longer was the Kahlan who loved him. He would find the Stone and seal the rift but he had to find out what they were up to. He didn’t trust them.
Richard left the chambers in a hurry, intent on informing Zedd and Cara of the latest development. He had barely take two steps down the hallway when Kahlan was there wrapping her arms around him and kissing him softly.
“There you are. I was looking for you.” She whispered against his lips. “I thought we were leaving at first light.”
Sighing deeply he reluctantly wrapped his arm around her waist and guided her as they walked. It bothered him that she wasn’t the same woman he fell in love with but there was nothing he could do. There was no putting them back together now. The woman he fell for was gone. This version of her was his only chance for happiness now. “I was planning on it. I had to speak with the Mother Confessor before we departed and it’s a good thing I did. She wishes to come with us and she is bringing Darken Rahl.”
“Rahl? That man is a monster. Don’t trust him, Richard.” She pleaded, coming to a stop and cupping his face in her hands. “Don’t let him hurt you. I can’t lose you.”
He kissed her forehead and smiled that boyish smile of his, his eyes locked on hers for reassurance. “There is nothing to be afraid of, Kahlan and besides; I need his help in order to know what to do with the Stone. This just saves us the trouble of looking for him.”
Kahlan tugged on his pendant, her fingers tracing over the smooth bone. “You’re right. I’m just worried. I don’t want anything to happen to you, Richard. Can’t we just give up this quest? We could get married and have children. We could live like normal people without the weight of the world on our shoulders.”
Clasping his hands with hers, Richard looked deeply into her clear blue eyes and smiled. “Nothing is going to happen but the quest comes first. Someday, once we have defeated the Keeper, then we will have that kind of life. I promise, Kahlan.” He placed a chaste kiss to her lips before leading her off to find Zedd and Cara.
Kahlan wasn’t thrilled with the idea of having to leave Aydindril again after having just returned but she knew it must be done. This alliance was the only thing that would keep both D’Hara and the Midlands out of the Keeper’s grasp. Besides, Darken Rahl was clever, nearly her equal on an intellectual level and it didn’t hurt that he was handsome. Vaguely she realized he met all the qualifications of the father to a confessor. It really was a pity his soul was immune to confession.
Taking a seat behind her desk she watched him approach her, her gaze cool as she observed this newfound ally. Drumming her fingers on the desk she leaned back, watching him as he sat in the chair across from her, almost like he belonged there. His arrogance was certainly irksome. “What more is there too this, Rahl? You are a fool if you think I believe that this treaty is for the good of our respective people.”
Darken observed her causally, taking in the way her dark curls fell around her face and her stunning blue eyes watched him as if he was her prey. She really was breathtaking but it was how powerful she was that intrigued him the most. “Why would you think that? Is it too outrageous to think that I do actually care for the people?”
Tipping her head slightly she smiled at him almost indulgently. “I know you. That isn’t the type of man you are, Darken Rahl. You crave power more than anything. So tell me, what is it you really want?” The words spilled from her lips, a hint of venom in her tone. She didn’t have time for his games. No papers had been signed yet and if he didn’t start talking soon she would have him thrown out of Aydindril.
He smirked, his head tipping in deference while still watching her with intrigue. She captivated him. “Honestly, I care little for the people. They are just a means to an end. I just do not wish to return to the Underworld and face the Keeper’s wrath. I’d much rather be among the living.”
Nodding slightly, Kahlan clasped her hands on her desk and watched him intently. She stared deeply into his eyes, judging the truth of his words before finally standing and extending her hand across the desk. “Then we have a deal, Lord Rahl. Our countries will become allies and you will help the Seeker seal the Rift to the Underworld.”
Her hand was soft in his and it made him wonder what the rest of her skin would feel like under his palms. After a moment he mentally shook himself, reminding himself that now was not the time to be thinking such things about an ally, no matter how beautiful she was. “It will be my pleasure, Mother Confessor.” His voice was thick with innuendo but he couldn’t help it. This woman was so unlike any woman he had ever met. He would do whatever it took to make her his.
Kahlan smirked to herself as she watched him depart, leaving her alone in her chambers. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Zedd and Cara had objected profusely when Richard informed them of the Mother Confessor’s plans. Richard couldn’t blame them. He didn’t trust either of them but there was nothing to do. Even if he didn’t agree with the Mother Confessor’s decision to ally with D’Hara this was making his job easier. He needed Rahl to tell him what to do with the Stone and now he had Rahl’s help.
The six of them left Aydindril around midday and rode south in the direction the compass led them. They could do nothing until they located the Stone of Tears so they pressed on, riding until it was dark before finally setting up camp for the night. Richard had grown tired of Zedd’s constant grumbling for food and as much as he wanted to keep going, he knew it would do them no good if they were too tired to fight off the banelings.
He watched as Zedd lit the fire with a flick of his wrist and immediately began preparing dinner. Kahlan was rolling out the bed rolls, he noticed she had placed his and hers right next to each other and couldn’t help but shake his head. Nothing would change her now. He couldn’t dwell on the past. He had to look towards the future. Turning away from Kahlan he joined Cara at the horses, unsaddling his before beginning to groom the large mare. “Keep an eye on them, will you?” He said his voice barely more than a whisper, his head tilting to indicate Rahl and the Mother Confessor who were sitting by the fire deep in conversation. He watched as Cara subtly turned to look then nodded slowly before he continued. “I don’t trust either of them. This part of Kahlan is power hungry. Who knows what kind of trouble she can get into if she spends too much time with Rahl’s influence?”
“I understand, Richard. I will make sure to keep close watch on them both.”
“Thank you.” He resumed grooming his horse, his eyes constantly flicking towards Rahl and the Mother Confessor. He refused to even think of her as Kahlan anymore. She wasn’t the woman he loved and she no longer cared for him. Calling her by her given name would only bring him pain. Such formality was something he would save for the version of her who cared for him. He just wished he knew what they were talking about. He could see the Mother Confessor’s mask slipping and she smiled slightly at something he said. He just hoped his eyes were playing tricks on him.
Darken watched as she softened towards him, she didn’t shoot him a glare when he lightly placed his hand on her thigh in a casual manor. That gave him hope. They sat together, observing their companions. Allies among the enemies, she was the only one he believed in. He couldn’t trust her yet but he had faith in her. Leaning into her personal space, Darken whispered in her ear. “He’s watching us.”
She hadn’t needed to be told. She had known Richard would watch her closely. Smirking, she pulled away and looked deeply into Darken’s eyes. The intelligence and cleverness there made her smile. Yes, she thought, this was definitely a good idea. “Let him watch. We have nothing to hide.”
“Indeed. Why would we try and hide this alliance? It defeats the purpose of the whole thing.”
Kahlan moved closer towards him, the smirk on his face exciting something deep inside her. She didn’t know is she should backhand him for insolence or to kiss him. Spirits, he was a frustrating man. She may be a confessor and she may know how to read people but she could never understand him. How could someone be so irritating yet enchanting at the same time? “It would.” She glanced back over her shoulder and noticed Richard was no longer there but Cara was watching them, presumably on his orders. When would they learn there was no need for this? They were wasting their time.
Darken could see the internal struggle Kahlan was having with her desires and it intrigued him more than anything else. Richard and Cara watching him was the least of his concerns. Right now Kahlan was all he cared about. That ruthless woman captivated him. She would be his, he promised himself. It would all be worth the wait.
Richard tired to ignore the whispered conversation between his brother and the Mother Confessor as he curled up on his bed roll next to Kahlan. Immediately she was wiggling back against his chest and pulling his arm across her waist. She wanted to be held and he didn’t mind. She wasn’t the same as she once was but when they laid together like this, his nose nuzzling her neck and inhaling the scent of her hair it was the same. She had never been torn and she was the woman he fell in love with.
“I love you,” she murmured as he nuzzled her neck, the feeling of being in her arms always giving her goose bumps.
“I love you too, Kahlan.” And he meant it. Even if she wasn’t the Kahlan he fell in love with she was still a part of her and for that he would always love her.
“You don’t need to worry.” She said with a yawn, her eyes slipping closed as exhaustion consumed her.
“It’s Darken Rahl. I have to worry. He can’t be trusted.” Richard placed a kiss to the tender skin of her neck as he sighed. He really wished Kahlan was right and there was no need to worry about this but something didn’t feel right, and it wasn’t just the way Rahl was looking at the Mother Confessor with desire in his eyes.
“True,” she said as sleep began to claim her, “but worrying will do no good.” With that she fell asleep in the arms of the man she loved while he lay awake, worrying about the future.