Pairings: Emo!Kahlan/Richard and HBIC!Kahlan/Darken Rahl
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.
Something was off and she couldn't quite place it. She lay in bed, the sun just beginning to tinge the horizon with color as she listened to the sound of his even breathing. She couldn't figure it out. Something seemed different and finally she realized. It was her powers, they felt different, almost like they were bring drawn to her belly. Her hand drifted down to rest on her abdomen as the realization hit her. She had been told confessors just knew but to feel it was something entirely different. She had achieved her goal and conceived a child. Her duty was finally being fulfilled.
Turning onto her side she watched as Darken's bare chest rose and fell with each breath he took. All along her plan had been to kill him once she was pregnant but now his child was growing in her womb and something was stopping her. He was so vulnerable lying there asleep next to her. It would have been so easy to smother him with her pillow, but she didn't.
She didn't know what it was but something about him was stopping her. He was smart and clever. Maybe she would need him to help teach their child all she would need to know in order to rule. That was her reasoning. There was no reason to listen to the little voice who told her that if she killed him she would never find pleasure at his hands again, she would never see that smirk that simultaneously irritated and aroused her.
Kahlan shifted, burying her head in her pillow and willing sleep to reclaim her. She still had an hour before she needed to wake and intended make the most of it. Sleep wouldn't come though. She tossed and turned, sighing in displeasure at her situation. Darken shifted next to her, turning and spooning her in his sleep. His arm draped over her waist, hand pressed against the soft skin of her belly. She normally didn't allow him to snuggle her, she wasn't that kind of person. They had sex and went to sleep. There was no cuddling.
Sighing, Kahlan tried to wiggle free from his grasp but couldn't manage to. He held her tight to his chest. She was just going to have to let him cuddle her until he woke. Thankfully she didn't have to wait very long. Darken was soon stirring, the rising sun streaming through the windows and basking them both in a warm glow.
"Morning," he murmured, burying his face in her hair as he gently trailed his fingers over her hip.
"Good morning, Darken." Her tone was firm; greeting him was nothing more than a business arrangement.
Yawning, he stretched some before pulling away from her and rolling onto his back. He knew she doesn't like to be cuddled so he can't fathom why she said nothing about how they woke. "Did you sleep well?"
She turned, propping herself up and looking down at him, her fingers playing with a luscious strand of her raven locks. The little curl having fallen over her shoulder. "I slept fine but I have something to tell you."
"What is it?" He said as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes with the back of his hand.
"I'm with child."
There was no excitement in her voice as she spoke. Her tone the same she would use if she had been discussing the weather but still he smiled. Their child would be a great leader even if she didn't feel the same way. Even if she had just been doing her duty. "I'm glad. Our child will be a great ruler."
"Yes she will be, one who can continue on the line of Confessors."
"She will be that and so much more." He couldn't help but feel something for the small life growing within her. It was his child and so much had changed since Cara's son. He had grown and was a better man because of it. Though he still craved power he knew this alliance was the best way to get it and he wouldn't fear a child born of this union. "She will be a sign of a unified D'Hara and the Midlands."
Kahlan watched him with a curious look. She didn't understand his reaction to this news. Sure she was happy. She felt fulfilled knowing she was doing her duty to the Midlands by providing a Confessor for the future generations but there was no more feeling than that. Maybe someday she would care for her daughter but she couldn't yet. Not when her child was nothing more than a warm feeling in her womb where her powers were building. Maybe someday she would understand him and his feelings but until that day she would just enjoy studying him. It always pays off to know both your allies and your enemies. And honestly, she still wasn't sure which he was.
Richard wasn't happy when he found out that the Mother Confessor was pregnant. He couldn't get the image of Kahlan in his brother's bed. The very thought sickened him. He could scarcely believe when she told him who the father was yet at the same time it hardly surprised him. He knew she would want to take a mate to continue the line of Confessors and who better than the former ruler of D'Hara? There really was no one more powerful.
Today they were planning on announcing the impending arrival of the next Confessor before the populace. Richard couldn't help but feel a slight pang in his gut. He should be the one standing beside her as the father of that child. Sure, he had his Kahlan, his wife, but there was something about seeing the woman who was his love in nearly every way announcing she is pregnant with another man's child. It hurt him yet he had no choice but to be there supporting them. Now more than ever he had to be vigilant in his duty to the Midlands. Now that they were to have a child who could rule both the Midlands and D'Hara there really was nothing they couldn't do.
Richard was already out on the balcony waiting for the pair of them to arrive. He had wanted Kahlan to come with him but she refused. She couldn't stand being around that other version of herself. He couldn't blame her. The Mother Confessor was so cold and heartless. It disturbed him to think that darkness was always in his precious Kahlan. Rahl had to have corrupted her or at least that was what he liked to fool himself into believing.
His attention was suddenly turned towards the curtain hanging in the doorway. The Mother Confessor stepped though, the roar of the crowd deafening as she came into view followed by Darken Rahl. Richard stood off to the side and watched over the proceeding. He was there. He had fulfilled his duty as the Seeker to show the people he approved of this union. He paid little attention to what was said, his eyes scanning the crowed assembled before them.
Darken stood at her side as she spoke, announcing their daughter's impending arrival to the people of Aydindril was an important step. He smirked as the people cheered for them then something caught his eye. Before he could fully comprehend what he saw, Richard was yelling for them to get down, an arrow barreling straight for the Mother Confessor.
Richard pulled his sword hopping to deflect the arrow but was too slow. Darken spun, clasping the Mother Confessor to his chest and putting himself between her and the arrow just in time for it to lodge in his shoulder, saving her from the fatal blow. "Keep her safe," he heard Richard yell and then he was gone, sword out as he took off in search of the would be assassin.
Darken sagged against her, his weight bringing her to the ground with him. "It's not bad, Darken." She said her hands red and sticky with blood from pulling out the arrow. He nodded, his head resting in her lap whilst she applied pressure to his wound.
"We need a healer,” she called to a passing servant before returning her attention to her man whose blood coated her hands and stained her white dress. "You saved me."
"Don't get used to it," her replied with a smirk. "I was saving the baby."
She chuckled and just shook her head, glad to see that the wound wasn't too serious. It wasn't long before the healer came and was taking Darken back to their chambers in a blink. She followed behind them, casually wiping her bloodied hands on her skirts. The dress was already ruined; there was no point in pretending otherwise.
Even if she knew he had been honest. He had been saving their child; there was still a part of her deep down that felt like he had been saving her. She couldn't ignore that. Maybe he was developing feelings for her? She didn't know nor did she care. All that mattered was she no longer wished for his death. She owed him her life and for that she was eternally grateful.
Richard had been out in the crowd faster than anyone had anticipated but he couldn't find the archer. No one seemed to know anything and hadn't seen him. He felt like he was chasing a shadow. He had never been more thankful that Kahlan had stayed in their room and not gone with to the ceremony. He knew it would have been possible to mistake the two women.
He spent the rest of the afternoon searching for any signs of the archer. Eventually, with the help of the Aydindril Home Guard he found where they had most likely made the shot. The assassin would have had a clear shot but the only thing he found left there was a small piece of black fabric which looked to have torn off the archer's clothing.
It was hours before he finally made it back to the palace, having searched the whole town to no avail. Richard knew Kahlan would be worried about him but she could wait. Making his way towards the Mother Confessor's bedchambers he nodded to the two guards to stood outside the door before knocking. There was no answer but when he knocked for a second time he heard someone moving within the chambers.
Before he knew it the Mother Confessor was standing before him, looking a very sorry sight. Her hair was matted with blood in places and she obviously hadn't changed her dress. It surprised him, the wound must have effected Darken more than he thought it had. He never would have thought she would be concerned but the look in her eyes said differently. "What is it, Richard? Did you catch him?"
"No Mother Confessor. He managed to get away but the men are still searching."
"Good," she said with all the authority befitting a Mother Confessor. "I want whoever did this to be executed."
"As do I, but until whoever made this attempt on your life is captured, you must be careful. Assassins won't stop after one attempt." Richard's voice was firm and the look on his face serious. He would take no chances where this woman was concerned. She may no longer care for him but she was a part of his love. He couldn't ignore that.
"I am well aware of that, Richard." Her lips twitched into something resembling a smile as be bid him farewell. "Thank you. Now why don't you go back to your wife and get some sleep?"
"I will Mother Confessor. Sleep well." With that he was gone, turning his back on her as he went back to his chambers.
She was already asleep when he arrived and for that he was grateful. He didn't know if he could take her worrying about him right now. His head was pounding and he just needed to sleep. Changing quickly into his night clothes he crawled into bed and held her as she slept. She was just the little bit of peace that he needed to sooth his worried mind. He held her; his wife, the mother of his child, until he drifted to sleep. His dreams filled with the two of them in a cottage in Westland with their tiny baby. He longed to make those dreams a reality and someday he would.
Kahlan woke just as the sun began spilling in the windows and tickling her cheeks. She smiled when she felt his warm, strong arms wrapped securely around their growing child. She had been so worried when she found out what had happened. When it grew late and he still hadn't come home she was even more worried so waking to find him spooned around her was a blessing in itself. She had missed him.
Turning slightly she nuzzled him, her lips brushing against his cheek. She knew he needed his sleep but she longed to tell him not to worry her. She needed to hear his voice. "Richard," she murmured, the haze of sleep making her voice thick.
"Mmmm..." he mumbled as she slowly drew him from his dreams.
"Wake up, my love." She kissed him softly, her fingers brushing his chestnut hair off his face.
He kissed her back, slowly realizing that this was not a dream. Opening his eyes he saw her close to him and he broke their kiss. "Always wake me like that," he murmured sleepily.
"Every day, love." She kissed him again; the taste of his lips something she would never tire of.
Breaking the kiss, Richard brushed his nose against hers. "What is it, Kahlan? Is something wrong?"
"No," she said with the shake of her head. "Everything is fine. I just missed you and was worried. You didn't come home until late and after everything that happened on the balcony, I was worried."
"Actually," he said shifting to hold her close, her head resting on his chest. "I want to talk to you about what happened on the balcony."
"What about it?" She asked; her attention more focused on the lock of hair curled around her finger than the worried tone of his voice.
"Someone tried to kill the Mother Confessor and if you had been there, that could have easily confused the two of you."
She hadn't thought of that but the moment the words left his mouth her hand dropped to cradle the small life inside her. "They wanted her."
"That's most likely true but I can't risk it, Kahlan. You are too important for me to lose you. I want you to stay inside the palace." He took her hand and squeezed it reassuringly, the worry obvious in his tone.
"I promise, Richard. I won't let anything happen to me." She smiled; his fingers dancing over the bumps of her spine making her realize just how special this time was. They had been alone so little these past few days she wanted to savor this moment.
Placing a light kiss to the top of her head, Richard smiled. He loved that she was so willing to listen and trust him. He didn't know what he would do if someone confused the two Kahlans and his was lost to him forever. The thought alone terrified him. She was his life now, even if he had been distracted lately. She was his world and that would never change.