Pairing: Richard and Kahlan
Summary: Richard and Kahlan grow up together in Aydindril and have to deal with developing feelings and all kinds of trouble.
Author's Notes: Kinda AU what could have happened. Written for lotsbigbang and BETA'd by my one and only braintwin theonlyspl Also this is the first long fic that I have written so I hope it turned out ok.
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I just like to make them do my bidding.
It had been almost a year since that fateful time that Richard and Kahlan spent in each other’s bodies and first acknowledged the feelings they were sharing. Those feelings hadn’t stopped them from remaining the best of friends. They still spent most of their time together, even though Kahlan had since completed her Confessors training and had begun taking confessions. Whenever they had time they were together talking and laughing like there wasn’t an unspoken problem keeping them apart.
Richard and Kahlan were out in the forest just outside of Aydindril, Kahlan was trying unsuccessfully to get Richard lost. She just kept getting herself lost instead so it was lucky that she hadn’t succeeded in making Richard lose his sense of direction. The summer sun was high in the sky as they wandered through the woods.
They had stopped for a minute and were relaxing under a large tree when Richard heard the unmistakable sound of someone running towards them. Richard turned toward the sound and just as he did a young girl came tumbling through the bushes. The girl with her long blonde hair in disarray was a few years younger than Richard and Kahlan. She stopped when she saw them under the tree thinking that maybe they could help her.
She approached them, her dirty dress hanging from her battered and bruised body. Richard and Kahlan stood up and walked toward her. “Who are you,” Richard asked, “and what happened to you?”
The girl looked him right in the eye as she spoke. “I’m Cara and I just escaped the Mord’Sith Temple. I was undergoing the trials. They were trying to break me, to make me one of them, but I wouldn’t give in.”
Kahlan looked horrified. She knew what the Mord’Sith did and she knew that the Confessors touch was fatal to them. She just couldn’t help but wonder why they would do such things to anyone let alone young girls. “Is there anything we can do for you,” Kahlan asked Cara.
“I need help. They are following me, they want to finish my training but I’m not gonna let them. Could you tell me where I can go to be safe from the Mord’Sith?”
“Come with us. My mother will know what to do.”
Kahlan and Richard led Cara out of the woods and through the streets of Aydindril. When they reached the palace Cara realized she didn’t even know their names, so she asked them. “I’m Richard and this is Kahlan,” he said with a reassuring smile.
Inside Kahlan led them toward her mother’s study; she knew that was where she would be. Kahlan knocked on the large wooden door and went inside when she heard her mother telling her to come in; Richard and Cara following close behind.
“Mother, we – well, she needs your help. Can you help her?”
The Mother Confessor stood and closed the distance between her daughter and her friends, smiling at them in a reassuring way. “What can I do to help?”
“Mother this is Cara and she has escaped from the Mord’Sith. They were trying to break her and now that she escaped they are trying to find her. Can you help keep her safe?”
“Yes I can help. Cara,” she said softly as Cara looked at her, “I would like you to stay here at the palace until we can stop the Mord’Sith. They are no threat to Confessors so you will be perfectly safe here.”
“Thank you Mother Confessor,” Cara responded with a bow.
“Kahlan, why don’t you take Cara to get cleaned up? I’m sure she would appreciate it.”
“Of course Mother, Cara come with me I’m sure you wouldn’t mind a bath and a change of clothes.”
Kahlan and Cara left the room with Richard following close behind. “Richard, why don’t you head back to the Keep and tell Zedd about this?”
“Umm yeah alright, I’ll come right back and Cara can tell us how she escaped.”
“Take your time; I’m sure Cara wants to relax some before discussing that.”
As Richard left for the Keep Kahlan showed Cara to one of the many guest rooms the palace had to offer. The one she took Cara to was a large room decorated in the lightest robin’s egg blue. It had a large bed in the center and several chairs near the fireplace and a small balcony overlooking the courtyard. It was beautiful and the color seemed like it could just make all your worries melt away, lulling you into contentment. In a chamber off the main room there was a bathtub and a vanity. Perfect for getting cleaned up.
Kahlan asked some of the servants on the way to the room to prepare a bath for Cara and to fetch her a new dress. It was only a few minutes before servants came into the guestroom and were filling the bathtub with warm water.
Kahlan left Cara to soak in the warm bath and went to fetch a healer to tend all of Cara’s physical wounds from her time with the Mord’Sith.
She returned a short while later to find Cara in the exact same spot she was when she left. “Enjoying the bath?” Kahlan said with a laugh.
“Very much, I don’t even remember the last time I got to take a nice warm bath.”
“Well I can understand if you want to soak some more but I brought a healer to tend to your wounds.”
“Oh that’s probably a good idea. I know some of these are infected. They should be treated before they get any worse.”
Kahlan turned around and left the small bath chamber, leaving Cara to get out of the water. She got out of the tub and wrapped herself in the robe which was lying over the back of the chair in front of the vanity.
Kahlan led Cara to the chair next to the fireplace as the healer came over and began tending her wounds. He wrapped some and others he had to clean and apply poultices to but soon all of Cara’s physical wounds were bandaged. If only her emotional wounds would heal as easily.
The healer left after finishing with Cara and Kahlan handed her a beautiful but simple light blue dress, made of a light cottony material. Cara eyed the dress with apprehension but took it and put it on. She didn’t feel as foolish as she thought she would. It had been so long since she had a new dress, she didn’t think she would be comfortable but she was pleasantly surprised.
“That dress looks like it was made for you.”
“Thank you and thank you for it. It is very nice.”
Kahlan waved it off with a flick of her wrist. “No it really was no trouble. I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in that other dress if I was you.”
“No I guess not.”
Just then Richard came into the room smiling at Cara and Kahlan.
“Richard don’t you ever knock?” Kahlan scolded.
He shook his head. “Only sometimes.”
Kahlan rolled her eyes at his comment before he turned his attention to Cara. “Well I’ve told Zedd what has happened and he is a little concerned but he doesn’t think any trouble will come of this. Now Cara if you don’t mind I’m quite interested to know how you managed to escape the Mord’Sith in the first place?”
“She doesn’t have to tell us if she doesn’t want to. She has already been through enough; she doesn’t need to relive it.”
“Kahlan its okay I want to tell you. You two are my friends, you helped me. I think it’s a pretty good story if I do say so myself.”
“Okay Cara as long as you’re sure you want to.”
Cara gestured to the chairs opposite hers. “Why don’t you sit down? This might be a long story.”
Once Richard and Kahlan were both seated and comfortable, Cara started. “There were three of us being trained at that temple, Dahlia, Garen, and I. We were tortured night and day with those horrible agiels. When we were allowed to rest rats would come into our cells and nibble on our toes. We would try to comfort each other but the longer the training lasted the less we thought of the others, we only thought of ourselves. Dahlia and Garen broke before I did. I still haven’t broken. Once they were broken they weren’t kept in the dungeon with me. They were made fully honored Sisters of the Agiel and were treated as such. I knew that no matter how hard I fought they would succeed in breaking me eventually if I stayed so I decided to escape. It took me a few days to figure out what I was going to do but in the end I knew what to do. I pretended I was closer to being broken than I actually was. This let the Mord’Sith trust me more and use less to keep watch over my training. One day when I was sure I had them lulled into a false sense of security I grabbed Mistress Elizabeth’s agiel and rammed it into her heart before she knew what I had done. I killed her and then I ran, knowing the others would be close behind and wanting revenge. I had been running through the woods for three days before I found you. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for helping me.”
Richard and Kahlan sat in silence for a few moments letting Cara’s story soak in before they spoke. “You were very brave to escape the way you did,” Richard said.
Kahlan was near tears. She didn’t like to think about anyone going through something like that, especially not someone she now considered a friend. “I’m so sorry Cara. You never should have had to go through something as terrible as that.”
“I know but I did and I got through it and now it’s time to move on.”