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.
Darken woke sometime in the middle of the night, blinking as he adjusted to the darkness. There was a dull ache in his shoulder but it was nothing he couldn't handle. He had saved her from certain death and would willingly pay that small price when the alternative was so terrible. He was going to do everything he could to stop the assassination plot. He would protect her. She was carrying his child and for that, she deserved to be protected.
Shifting in bed he noticed he was alone, Kahlan was not with him and he wondered why. Turning on his side he smiled, noticing Kahlan asleep in a chair next to the bed, the moonlight lighting up her beautiful features. It didn't take him long to notice the large brown stains on her dress where his blood had dried. Had she been at his side the whole time? Reaching out he carefully brushed her hair off her face as he watched her dream. He wondered what wonderful thoughts filled her mind as she slept but said nothing. He was content to watch her, her chest rising and falling with each of her even breaths.
He didn't know how long he watched her. She looked like a good spirit in the flesh with the way the moonlight illuminated her skin. She barely seemed real. Her eyelids fluttered and he turned his attention away. The last thing he wanted was for her to know he had been watching her sleep.
Kahlan's eyes slowly opened and she glanced around the room. It was late, she could tell but Darken appeared to still be asleep. For that she was glad. She didn't want him to find out she had fallen asleep at his bedside. She ran her fingers through her hair, letting out a little whine when she reached the tangled ends of her hair still matted with Darken's blood. It hurt when she tried to untangle it. She needed a bath. Her exhaustion would have to wait.
Sighing she stood, her eyes falling once more on Darken's prone form. She sincerely hoped he would be better soon. She watched his sleep for a moment longer before turning. She had barely taken a step when a hand lightly grabbed her wrist. "Where are you going?"
Kahlan shook her head and turned back towards him, "How long were you awake?"
"Longer than you were," he replied with a chuckle.
Mentally she reprimanded herself for letting him see her in such a vulnerable state. She never meant to fall asleep watching him. It just happened. "Oh...were you watching me sleep?"
Darken smiled up and her and carefully turned to prop himself up, his hand taking hers and absentmindedly tracing over the lines of her palm with his fingers. "And if I was? You obviously had been watching me sleep."
Flustered, Kahlan pulled her hand way despite the warm feeling she got when he touched her in such a loving way. "I wasn't watching you sleep. I was making sure your condition did not worsen."
He chuckled, smiling indulgently at her before shaking his head. "If that's what you call it fine. But answer me this. Why is your hair and dress still covered in my blood if you were simply looking out for me? Why didn't you clean yourself up first?"
She didn't know that to say to that. She had no reason for not changing. She had just been so absorbed in her worry over his condition that she simply forgot. "I was busy. There is an assassin on the loose and I lost track of time. Besides, I don't have to explain myself to you."
"No, you don't its nice when you tell me things." Darken sighed, she was such a hard case and even if he was making progress it would take so much time. He could tell there were feelings developing within her and that gave him hope. Perhaps one day she would actually care for him.
"I'm going to clean up. Go back to sleep, Darken. You need to rest if that wound is going to heal properly." Her lips twitched into something close to a smile before leaving the room. She didn't understand him, she had known him for months and he still remained a puzzle. Every time she thought she had him figured out she was wrong. Sometimes she thought he was falling in love with her and others, she didn't even know what to think. He was infuriating and it captivated her. She even had to wonder if maybe, just maybe she felt something for him.
When morning came there was still no sign of the would be assassin. Richard, Darken and the Mother Confessor spent the morning trying to figure out who would want to kill her. She was convinced it was the family of someone she had confessed. Confessor's lives were always at stake because of that.
Richard and Darken hadn't been so convinced. Something had seemed off about the whole thing and the brothers wouldn't be content with anything but answers. Leaning over the table, Richard rested his arms on the wood, his eyes locked on the Mother Confessor. "Just let me keep searching. I'll find who did this."
Kahlan leaned back in her chair, a lock of hair twirled around her finger as she thought it over. "I don't doubt you could do it Richard but you are much better suited here. Between me and your wife the assassin will come here and try again. It makes more sense to lie in wait for him."
Darken tapped his lip with his index finger before nodding. "She's right Richard. They will try again and they will have to come here to do it."
"I will not put my wife at risk! She has no part in this and isn't just some bait to use at your leisure." Richard snapped at them, his fist banging on the table in anger. He wouldn't let anything or anyone hurt his Kahlan.
"I don't intend to use her as bait, Richard. Especially not in her condition. Do you honestly think me that heartless? But remember, your wife isn't the only one who is with child."
Richard didn't miss the worried glance Darken cast in the Mother Confessor's direction when she mentioned their child. Obviously Rahl cared more for her than he was letting on. It couldn't just be his paternal instinct to protect his unborn daughter. "I know, Mother Confessor." His voice had lost its heat and he leaned back in his chair. "But your child is all the more reason to keep the assassin as far away from you as possible. Think if you die before that child is born the race of Confessors will forever be extinct."
"I am thinking of this child, Richard. How easy would it be too hurt her once she is born. It would take nothing more than bribing a maidservant. This threat needs to be taken care of before my child is born." The Mother Confessor was firm, her words conveying how strongly she felt. It was obvious she was beginning to care for the small life inside her.
"Then what do we do?" Rahl asked, "We can't just wait around for the assassin to try again."
It was obvious Rahl was worried but Richard couldn't if his brother was worried for Kahlan or his unborn child she was carrying. Either way it was a softer side of Rahl, something he had never seen before. "We will just have to be careful. If this is how the Mother Confessor wishes to handle things we will just have to increase the guard in and around the palace and tell the men to keep vigilant."
The Mother Confessor smiled softly, before nodding. "That is exactly what we must do. Richard, see that it's done immediately."
"Yes Mother Confessor," he said with a tip of his head before leaving to inform the guards.
"I don't know if I like this, Kahlan." Darken said once Richard had left the room. "You shouldn't be putting yourself at risk. You shouldn't be putting our child at risk."
"Don't worry," she said as she turned back to face him, having stood as she watched Richard leave. "I'll be fine and so will our daughter."
He couldn't be so sure. She was pregnant and someone wanted to kill her. He didn't care how powerful she was. Her condition made her vulnerable. He intended to make sure nothing happened to her or their daughter. "Just stay close to me and inside the palace."
Kahlan smirked, her eyes lighting up playfully. "You are still worrying, Darken." She brandished her finger and him and stared into his eyes. "I told you not to worry."
Without a moment’s hesitation, Darken pulled her into his arms, settling her in his lap and holding her close. She glares and him and tensed but did nothing else. "Of course I'm worrying. She's my daughter." He kissed the side of her throat, lips ghosting over the tender skin there. "And I don't want anything to happen to you either. What would become of our alliance if something happened to you?"
Shifting in his arms, Kahlan made a move to get off his lap only for his arms to tighten their hold on her. "It will be fine now let me go."
"Promise me you will be careful,” he whispered, his hot breath right on her ear. "Promise me and I'll let you go."
After a moment she sighed, nodding in agreement before murmuring, "I promise."
"Good,” he said before releasing her. "I want you to keep that promise."
Weeks turned into months as time passed with no sign of whoever had tried to kill the Mother Confessor. The guards remained doubled for protection but as hard as Richard and Darken tired to find out who was behind the assassination attempt, they found nothing.
The Mother Confessor was more irritable that normal as of late, her pregnancy bringing on a terrible bout of morning sickness. Darken tried the best he could to comfort her but she would have none of it. She would push him away and glare. She didn't need anyone's help.
She had spent the past few days barely leaving her chambers, her pregnancy making her weak. She hated it and couldn't figure out why Richard's wife was having such an easy time. Her morning sickness had only lasted a month in the very beginning of her pregnancy. She was now nearly four months along and still nauseous almost constantly. It irked her to no end. They were almost the same person. Shouldn't they react the same to pregnancy?
Her belly was just beginning to swell with her child and she hoped that would mean her morning sickness would soon pass. She had stopped wearing her corset a few weeks ago hoping it would help her feel more comfortable. The wave of nausea that had kept her confined to her chambers soon passed and she left. She had to stay informed on the situation in Aydindril as well as the hunt for whoever was behind the attempt on her life.
Entering the main chambers she was surprised to find her doppelganger standing in the middle of the room, her face tear stained and her hair disheveled. Obviously she was upset about something. The Mother Confessor took note of the way this woman's hand lovingly caressed her growing belly and silently reminded herself that in a few short months her body would look similar. "Can I help you, Kahlan?"
Kahlan turned, nodding slightly; she looked almost afraid of being in the same room with the Mother Confessor. It was strange. "I'm looking for my husband. I thought he might be here since you have him working so much lately."
"As you can see he isn't here. I don't know where he is. Richard is a very busy man and his duties to the realm are far more important than any trivial matter you have to discuss with him." The Mother Confessor said snidely. Obviously not in the mood to deal with this woman when she had much more important things to deal with.
Her eyes filled with tears and she pressed her hand to the growing bulge of her belly. She couldn't believe it. Richard wouldn't put the Midlands before her and their baby. "I want to speak with him now," she said in a quiet, broken voice. Closing her eyes she willed her tears not to spill and silently cursed her pregnancy for making her so hormonal.
"You can't,” the Mother Confessor said coldly. "He is busy and even if I knew where he was you can speak with him after his work is complete."
Kahlan's tears spilled and she brushed them away with the back of her hand. "He's my husband."
"Yes and he is the Seeker. He answers to me before anyone else," the Mother Confessor snapped.
Just then Darken and Richard walked into the chambers and noticed the situation brewing. Immediately Richard was wrapping Kahlan in his arms and attempting to stop her tears. She lovingly stroked her hair before turning to glare at the Mother Confessor. "What happened?"
"I told her the truth,” the Mother Confessor stated simply. "I told her you were busy and could speak with her later."
"You don't have the right to tell my wife when I can and cannot speak with her." Richard snapped, cradling Kahlan against his chest and slowly rocking her.
"I do have that right, Richard." The Mother Confessor said calmly. It is in my authority and you obey my orders.
Richard noticed that Darken had moved to stand right behind the Mother Confessor's left shoulder and was nodding slightly it disturbed him to know end that his brother would side with her. Even months after she first took him as her mate it still make Richard sick to think of what they did when alone. He couldn't let his mind wander to Darken's hands all over the woman he loves. Nothing scarred him more than that image.
"She's right," Rahl said, his voice drawing Richard from his brooding. "She is the highest authority in the land and can tell you what to do."
"Enough!" The Mother Confessor cried her voice firm and authoritative. "We are wasting time. Richard, speak with your wife and find out what is so horribly important but then get back to work. The guards need their orders and we still have an assassin on the loose. Don't forget that."
"Yes Mother Confessor," Richard murmured, his head bowed in deference as he looped and arm around Kahlan's growing waist and led her from the room. He needed to calm her down and he didn't care if that wasn't what the Mother Confessor wanted. He was going to care for his wife. There was nothing more important.