Summary: Richard and Kahlan have to work together to move beyond the hardest thing they have ever faced.
Author's Notes: Written for the legendland Picture Prompt Challenge.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I just like to make them do my bidding.
It was a crisp autumn day and when Richard couldn’t find his wife he knew exactly where to look. She had been distant lately and he knew it was because they were drawing close to the anniversary of Amber’s death. It haunted her even more than it did him. He knew she still blamed herself even two years after the accident but it wasn’t her fault. No one could have predicted what would happen or that they would lose their daughter forever that fateful day.
He quietly walked through the Confessor’s private cemetery, careful not to step on the dry leaves and disturb her. It broke his heart when he saw her sitting on the small bench they had put near Amber’s grave. She looked so broken and alone. Part of him wondered if it was because they had buried their daughter away from all the other confessors in a more private and secluded portion of the cemetery. He knew they had made the right choice, wanting to have their family, which was so different from the past confessors, away from that and somewhere special. The seclusion and quiet, the stillness in the air around his daughter’s grave made this place special.
He missed her so much. It was cruel that she had been robbed of life at such a young age but he had been strong for Kahlan. She had needed him. When he closed his eyes he could still she her crying over the body of their second child, her belly swollen with their fourth. He should have known that four was too young to let her play out in the courtyard without him paying more attention. He had turned away from her for a split second to speak with Kahlan. The next thing he knew Kahlan was screaming as she watched Amber fall from the tree. He didn’t even know how she had climbed it so fast.
Her neck had snapped and even as Cara tried in vain to revive her Richard knew it was a lost cause. He wouldn’t tell Kahlan that though. She needed hope but once Cara couldn’t revive her, she broke down. It was the hardest thing he had ever had to witness.
Kahlan had been a wreck for days and there was a time he feared her grief would cause her to miscarry. He was glad he had been wrong. He doubted Kahlan would have survived another loss. Reflecting back on it he was sure that had been the most difficult part of their life. Harder than defeating Darken Rahl and more challenging that sealing the rift. This was heartbreaking.
In time they had grieved and tried to move on. There were days when things almost seemed normal again. Then there were days like today when Richard would find her alone in the cemetery mourning for their lost daughter. Quietly he approached her and sat with her on the small stone bench, wrapping his arms around her as she cried.
He said nothing as he gently rocked his sobbing wife. He knew how hard it was for her. It was just as hard for him. Even though they had other children no one would ever replace Amber. She was special and gone all too soon. Neither one of them would ever be completely healed. The scar would never fade. Tears leaked from Richard’s eyes as he thought about how there is always something that reminded him of his lost little girl. Be it walking into the garden and seeing that tree or how Taralyn looks so much like her sister did.
They sat like that for a long time; the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon by the time Kahlan’s tears had stopped. Richard cooed softly, whispering his love and how he missed her too but they had to be strong for the other children. He lovingly stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head. “We should go inside. It’s getting late, Kahlan.”
“I know,” she said with a sniff. “I just need to stay a little longer.”
“Okay.” He held her tight; the two of them wordlessly comforting each other, the chill in the autumn air making him hold her for comfort as well as to keep her warm.
The sun had almost disappeared beneath the horizon when Kahlan finally stood. Brushing her hair back from her face she tried to regain some composure. “The kids probably miss us.”
“You’re right,” he said, catching her hand and turning her to face him. “What’s wrong though, Kahlan. It’s still two weeks until the anniversary. You haven’t been like this since right after she passed.”
She smiled sadly as he wrapped his arm around her waist and began walking with her back to the palace. “Because I’m with child, it’s making me remember how excited we were for Amber.”
The moment the words left her mouth he stopped and looked at her, a small smile forming on his lips. “With child?”
“Yes, Richard.” She couldn’t help but smile a little at his enthusiasm. He was such a good father. “It’s just making me realize just how much time has passed. I mean Samantha is already eighteen months and now we are having another. I just don’t want to feel like we are moving on and forgetting about Amber.”
“Kahlan,” he said as he pulled her into his arms and held her close. “We will never forget about her. Life might have to move on but she will always be a part of it, even if she is gone.”
“I know. I just miss her.”
Kissing the top of her head he whispered, “I miss her too but it will get better. I promise.”
Together they walked home in silence; grateful to know that their daughter would never be forgotten.