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 toivanolix 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.
Time passed quickly now that the threat of Williams and his assassination plots were dealt with. The Mother Confessor was able to work through the small bands of people revolting because they had believed in what Williams had told them. Their opposition was easily crushed.
Darken managed to get her to rest, allowing him to take on more responsibility as their growing child taxed her strength. He was surprised that she was still as active as she was. He was grateful though; she was a strong woman and wouldn't let pregnancy stop her from doing anything. He wondered if their daughter would have her mother's strength. He hoped she did; he hoped she was just like her mother. Strong and brave, a leader.
He entered their chambers late that night but she was still awake. Sitting in bed like she always did, her nose in a book as she waited for him. "I'm surprised you are still up."
"It wasn't a busy day. I attended my duties then visited with Richard's wife. She's confined to her chambers and likes the company." Kahlan glanced at him over her book as he stripped out of his robes. "Her baby should be here any day."
"So Richard has informed me." Darken nodded as he slipped his sleep pants on and slid beneath the covers with her. "They are both excited even if they are worried about any lingering effects the poison may have on the child."
Kahlan set her book on the bedside table and turned to face him. "They are but the healer assured them the child will be fine."
Darken's hand dropped the swell of her belly gently caressing the taut skin there through her nightgown. "I know." He paused for a moment, just feeling the way his daughter kicked beneath his palm before continuing. "She needs a name, Kahlan."
Sighing, Kahlan brought her hand to her belly, joining his over their daughter. "I've been thinking about that."
"And what name do you like?" His fingers absentmindedly tangled with hers and despite the look she gave him she didn't pull away.
Darken smiled, his hand squeezing hers and he nodded his approval. "Beautiful, just like she will be."
"It seems like it fits her." Kahlan murmured as she stroked her belly where the baby had just kicked.
"It does and before long she will be here with us."
"And so much more vulnerable." Kahlan added with a hint of worry in her voice. Despite everything remaining calm after Williams’s death she couldn't help but wonder if there were people who still wanted her gone. If they wanted the line of Confessors extinguished forever.
"True but we will protect her. She will have us and Richard and all of Aydindril looking out for her. Nothing will happen to our child, Kahlan." He pulled her against him, his hand cradling the swell of her belly as he inhaled her scent.
She stiffened against him, not comfortable with type of compassion. He was a different type and every time she thought she had him figured out he would do something totally unexpected. Though, she had grown used to these simple loving touches. It was something he did and she tried to accept it. "I'm aware of that, Darken. We will protect her."
Lightly, he kissed her neck as he held her close. Their breathing evening out as their eyelids drooped. As sleep started to claim him Darken murmured, "Forever, Kahlan." Before unconsciousness claimed him.
Kahlan screamed as another contraction wracked her body. She had been in labor for nearly a day and didn't know how much more she could handle. Richard was at her side, murmuring his love as she squeezed his hand. It broke his heart to see his wife in so much pain.
"Almost Kahlan. You are doing great." Richard whispered lovingly against her hair as the midwife indicated it was time to push. "We'll get to see her soon. You can do this my love."
Kahlan nodded and pushed when instructed, her voice echoing around them as she pushed, her body braced against Richard's chest. She felt as though she would collapse from the sheer exhaustion of it.
Before she knew it the shrill cry of a newborn erupted between her legs as the midwife cared for the screaming baby. Collapsing back against Richard her eyes filled with tears. Their baby was here and she was okay. "Richard," Kahlan murmured as her eyes tracked the midwife holding the squirming bundle.
"I know," he said as he dropped a kiss to the top of her head. "She's here."
A moment later the midwife was placing their daughter in Kahlan's arms. She couldn't help but be enchanted by the tiny person that was part of her and part of Richard. "Hi there, Sweetheart." Kahlan said as she wiggled her finger before the infant.
Richard couldn't help but smile as he looked over his wife's shoulder and at their newborn daughter. "She's perfect just like her mother."
"No," Kahlan said with a shake of her head. "Just like her father."
His finger traced over her tiny red cheek, beaming as she tilted her head towards his touch. "She has your nose, Kahlan."
"That might be true," she whispered, dropping a kiss to her daughter's tiny forehead. "But she has your heart. I can tell."
Just then the newborn's eyes fluttered open and Kahlan smiled. "Hello Katelyn.” Richard peered over his wife's shoulder and smiled at the bundle in her arms. When he saw her there, so perfect he didn't think the world would get any better. "She has my eyes." He murmured in amazement as his eyes locked on Katilyn's chocolate orbs.
"Yes she does." Kahlan said with a smile. She's perfect just like her father.
"I'm far from perfect." Richard whispered as he lovingly trailed his fingers over the smattering of dark brown fuzz on her tiny head. "But Katelyn is perfect. The perfect mixture of the two of us."
Nodding slightly Kahlan turned to face her husband. She smiled brightly and Richard didn't think he had ever seen her so happy. "You should get Zedd. He needs to make sure she is really okay."
Richard nodded before dropping a kiss to the foreheads of both the most important women in his life. "I'll be back soon." With that he got up and left the room. He was glad Zedd and Cara had made decent time returning to Aydindril. He didn't know what he would have done had Zedd not been able to check up on Kahlan as much as he had.
Opening the door, Richard found Zedd and Cara waiting patiently just outside the door. "Congratulations my boy," Zedd said with a pat to his shoulder and Cara just smiled. She knew he was happy and deep down she was thrilled for her friends.
"Kahlan's asking for you Zedd. She wants to make sure Katelyn is healthy."
Without another word Zedd marched past his grandson and into the bedchambers. He wouldn't waste a moment when his great granddaughter's life was at risk. Richard turned to follow his grandfather when Cara grasped his forearm and turned him around. "Congratulations, Richard."
He smiled softly at his friend, glad that she seemed happy even if she was trying to hide it. "Thank you, Cara."
He turned then and quickly returned to Kahlan's side, holding her hand as Zedd examined their newborn. "She's healthy," Zedd said quietly, "but there is one thing."
Kahlan's breath caught and a look of sheer terror crossed her face. Her grip on Richard's hand tightening. "What is it?"
"The poison seems to have caused some poor lung development. She'll be fine but there might be times when she has a hard time breathing." Zedd smiled halfheartedly before handing the baby back to Kahlan. "You just need to watch her. There is no reason she can't grow up and live a normal life."
"I know," Kahlan murmured as her eyes filled with tears. She clutched the baby close to her chest and rocked her lovingly.
"It will be okay, Kahlan." Richard murmured as he wrapped his arms around his wife. "We will make sure she has everything she needs."
Neither of them noticed as Zedd slipped from the room to give the new family some privacy. "I know it just isn't fair. Our child shouldn't be punished for her actions."
He kissed the top of her head as he rocked her, hoping the gentle movements would calm her. "I know love but we can't change the past. Katelyn will be fine. I promise."
Just then Katelyn stirred, her eyes opening once more as she began crying. "She's hungry," Kahlan said taking note of the way her daughter nuzzled her breast, her mouth mimicking suckling as she cried.
Without a second thought, Richard helped Kahlan with the buttons of her nightdress and watched with rapt attention as Katelyn latched on to feed. "Perfect," he murmured, taking the moment to bask in his perfect family.
This was how it was supposed to be. Just the two of them and their child. She was the perfect mixture of them with her dark brown eyes and the little fuzz of almost black hair. This was the best day of his life. Of that he was sure.
As Katelyn's suckling slowed her eyes began to droop. Kahlan hummed to their baby, watching as she slowly drifted into dream land. Richard was amazed with it all but lightly he pressed a kiss to Kahlan's temple. "You should sleep. That was exhausting for you, I could tell."
"I'm okay," she said as she tried to stifle a yawn.
"Don't lie to me, Kahlan." He murmured as his arm around her shoulders tightened slightly.
"I just don't want to sleep yet. I want to keep holding her." She murmured sleepily.
"You can. Sleep, Kahlan. You can hold her and I'll hold you both."
"Are you sure?" She asked, already nuzzling against him.
"Of course." Richard kissed the top of her head as he cradled her, his hand wrapping around the tiny bundle in her arms as they drifted to sleep together. They way it was supposed to be.
"They had a girl." Darken said as he entered the master chambers to see Kahlan standing by the window looking out at the stars.
"Is she healthy?" Kahlan didn't take her eyes from the sky as she spoke, her hand running little circles over her belly.
"For the most part. Zedd seems to think there was some problem with the development of her lungs do to the poison but she should live a normal, healthy life anyway."
"That's good," Kahlan murmured as she turned around to face him. "I'm sure she would never forgive either of us if she had lost that baby because of the poison."
"You are probably right." Darken sighed as he stripped out of his robes and sat on the edge of the bed. "Though I wouldn't blame them for being upset."
"Neither would I. That poison was meant for me not her." She said in a matter of fact way as she waddled over to the bed, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear as she went.
"True and it might be bad of me to say this but I'm glad it went to her instead. I couldn't bear to see you go through what she went through. I know how much it hurt Richard to see her going through that. I could only imagine having to sit at your bedside like that."
Kahlan couldn't help the chuckle that burbled out then. Shaking her head and rolling her eyes she glanced away. "You wouldn't have sat at my bedside, Darken. Don't try and kid yourself."
He took her hand and squeezed it gently, trying to convey all he felt for her with a simple touch. "I would have. I wouldn't have let you go through that alone. I thought you knew me better than that."
"We don't have a relationship like they do. Ours is an arrangement of convenience." She ignored him as she walked over and crawled into bed, shifting on her side until she was comfortable.
He didn't say anything as he watched her climb into bed before joining her a moment later. "It started out that way," he murmured, "but it doesn't always have to be like that."
She scoffed at him, pulling the blankets over herself as she stared out the balcony doors from her place in bed. "You are fooling yourself if you think I care for you in the slightest, Darken Rahl. You are a suitable mate. Nothing else."
"Just keep telling yourself that, Kahlan. Someday you'll see that the only one you are fooling is yourself." He shifted, his hand lightly caressing the swell of her belly.
"It won't change." She shifted slightly making it more difficult for him to continue caressing her belly but he didn't stop.
"Just give it time."