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.
It was dark when he entered their chambers. Something wasn't right, the curtains were still drawn shut and she wasn’t sitting there knitting. She was always smiling the moment he came home. Quickly making his way through their outer chamber and into the bedroom his heart nearly stopped when he saw her. She was soaked with sweat, collapsed on top of the blankets as she slept. He was at her side in an instant. Sitting beside her and cradling her head in his lap. "Kahlan," he murmured his voice barely more than a whisper as he felt her burning skin. Something was wrong. "Kahlan," he said again, louder this time but she still didn't stir.
He watched the shallow rising and falling of her chest for a moment longer, his lips brushing her forehead and he murmured his love for her before bolting for the door. He needed help. Something was terribly wrong with his wife.
He bolted down the hall, finding the healer and sending her back to his chambers before continuing down the hall. As much as he hated to admit it, his brother could be of some use to him. Darken knew about magic and he didn't know if that would be needed. He ran, skidding to a halt outside the Council Chambers before barging through the door. "Yes, Brother?" Darken said, glancing over from his conversation with a visiting dignitary.
"Kahlan," he panted, still catching his breath from his run across the palace. "Something's wrong with Kahlan. She's unconscious and burning up. She isn't responding when I try to wake her."
Richard was frantic and Darken just stood there for a moment as he attempted to process the information. "She needs a healer," Darken finally said. "Something has to be wrong. Was she sick before you left this morning?"
"No everything was fine this morning,” Richard said his voice shaking as he barely held himself together.
Darken traced his finger across his lip before turning away from the man and crossing the room. "Let's go see what's wrong with your wife, Brother."
They took off down the halls, making swift time and before they knew it Richard was flinging open the doors to their chamber. The healer was kneeling next to Kahlan, his hand pressed to her forehead. The older man turned at the sound of them entering. "She's be poisoned," he said simply.
Richard was at her side before anyone could blink. He took her hand in his and squeezed it tightly, bringing their joint hands to his chest. "What needs to be done?"
Darken watched the scene before him with a heavy heart. He couldn't imagine what he brother was going through and before the healer had a chance to answer Richard's question Darken spoke. "We need to get her to expel as much as possible from her body. If it lingers too long anything could happen. She could die and so could the baby."
The healer nodded before digging through his bag. Richard was terrified as he watched. He couldn't lose her, he couldn't lose their baby. He wouldn't let her go. He helped the healer sit her up, leaning her back against his chest. Richard nuzzled her hair as he whispered his love for her.
It took only moments before the smelling salts woke her. She was groggy and disoriented but at least she was awake. "Kahlan,” Richard spoke softly, his hand brushing her sweat dampened hair off her face. "Kahlan we need you to swallow that." He took the vile from the healer and held it to her lips before continuing. "You've be poisoned and I need you to do this. You have to. I can't lose you and the baby."
She nodded and swallowed when he tipped the contents of the small vial into her mouth. Her hand was on her belly, caressing the growing life. She couldn't lose their child. She would do anything to save their baby. The healer handed Kahlan the waste bin and moments later she was vomiting. Purging the poison from her body in an attempt to save both hers and her child's lives.
"Darken,” Richard said and he lovingly held his wife's hair back as she retched. "I need you to message Zedd. He needs to get back here as quickly as possible. Kahlan might need him."
He nodded and left immediately to send a journey book message to him. That was the most important. He wouldn't rest until whoever did this was caught because he was sure of one thing. That poison had been meant for the Mother Confessor.
After messaging Zedd he returned to his chambers. There was nothing he could do now. Maybe after she had rested some he would be able to help Richard’ wife. He had spent most of the afternoon conversing with Zedd and several visiting dignitaries who refused to be brushed off. Now he just needed sleep. He was no help to anyone; Darken stepped into the dark chambers and silently crossed the room intending to slip unnoticed into bed with Kahlan.
The moment he slipped beneath the covers she was sitting up, her dark hair cascading around her face in the moonlight. "What did Richard want? I was told he came looking for you around midday."
Sighing, Darken propped himself up on his elbow and tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "His wife has been poisoned. I'm sure they meant to poison you."
Her face was unreadable in the dark but he knew she was watching him. Finally she spoke, her voice quiet and she seemed almost unsure of herself. "Will she live?"
"It wasn't good when I left but I think the healer managed to purge most of the poison from her body before it took root." Darken closed his eyes and all he could see was the panicked look on his brother's face and they way his wife laid there unconscious. It sickened him and he couldn't help but think of if it had been his Kahlan; if they had succeeded in poisoning her.
"What about her child?" Kahlan spoke timidly and Darken noticed the way she held her hand protectively over her growing womb. "Will she lose the baby?"
He just sighed, his hand covering his eyes in a vain attempt to block out the images that plagued him. "Only the Creator knows. Hopefully since they discovered the poison quickly it wouldn't have had a chance to hurt the child."
Kahlan lay back down, pulling the blankets back up and closing her eyes. She knew Richard wouldn't rest until his wife was healed and Kahlan wouldn't rest until this person was caught. She was sick of innocent people getting hurt in her place. It was time to end this.
Morning came and Richard had yet to sleep. He had stayed at his wife's side and held her long into the night. He knew she was scared and to be honest, so was he. But he had to be strong for her. She looked better this morning and the healer told him that she seemed to be past the worst of it. Richard didn't know if he believed the man.
He silently held his wife, watching the even rise and fall of her chest as he absently stroked her belly. He had spent hours praying to the Creator in the hopes of her sparing both Kahlan and their child. He didn't know what he would do if he lost them.
Richard wouldn't leave her side. He didn't move when he heard the door creak open. It was probably the healer again. The man was always checking in on Kahlan. "Brother?"
Richard turned, his eyes widened slightly. He hadn't been expecting Darken to come back. "What is it, Darken?"
"I came to see how she is doing." Darken closed the distance between them, his finger tracing his lip and he watched Kahlan. "She looks better than last night."
He nodded, never taking his eyes from his unconscious wife. "The healer thinks she is past the worst of it. According to him she didn't get a full dose of whatever the poison was. If she had I would have lost her before I knew she was poisoned. I'm grateful that didn't happen."
"And the child?" Darken asked and Richard looked up surprised, he hadn't expected the sincerity in his brother's voice.
"She didn't lose it but there is a chance she still could or the baby could be born with something wrong." He didn't want to think about all the horrible things that could happen between now and when the baby will come. "The healer thinks that because she was able to purge the poison quickly, that is the only reason the child still lives." Richard's voice was thick with sorrow and he kissed Kahlan's brow.
"I will keep them both in my thoughts," Darken said with a reassuring squeeze to Richard's shoulder. "I have some knowledge of poisons so if you want I might be of some help. I know I'm not Zedd and I don't have his magic but I can try."
Richard nodded, hope in his eyes for the first time since Kahlan fell ill. "Do you really think it could help?"
"I know it won't hurt her and odds are it will help. It might help the baby more than Kahlan but if what the healer said is true, the baby is in more danger anyway. Give me a few hours and I'll see what I can do."
Richard watched as Darken turned to leave, his velvet robes swirling around his legs. "Brother," Richard called as Darken disappeared through the door, reappearing only a second later having heard him. "Thank you."
Darken smiled and nodded before slipping out the door. If there was a way to help he would find it.
Lauren was nervous. She knew that the Seeker's wife had been the one poisoned and didn't know how to get close to the Mother Confessor with all the increased security. She knew that Councilor Williams would not be pleased with her failure. She felt guilty for harming that innocent woman but there was nothing she could do. It was all for the greater good, Councilor Williams had said so.
Nervously she made her way down the hall and towards the kitchens. She fidgeted with her apron and didn't watch where she was going. She didn't even see Darken Rahl until she had run right into him. "My apologies," she stammered her eyes flicking nervously in every direction and she twisted her hands.
"It's quite alright. Just watch where you are going from now on." He noticed the way she seemed almost anxious to get away and something in his gut told him not to let this girl go. "Where are you in such a rush to get to anyway?"
"I...the kitchen," she mumbled with a glance at her feet. She just wished he would leave her alone and let her go.
Tilting his head to the side, Darken looked at her curiously before grasping her forearm. "You couldn't help me with something could you?"
She stiffened under his touch but nodded anyway. She couldn't deny him anything and she needed to find a way to get close to the Mother Confessor anyway. Maybe this would work to her advantage.
Darken led her down several hallways and before she knew it she was standing before the large oak doors of the Council Chambers. She could only imagine what he was bringing her there for. Something inside her told her to worry, that she should be afraid but she held her ground despite nervously twisting her apron. She could make it through this.
She was silent as he led her into the room, her eyes going wide when she saw the Mother Confessor seated regally in her high backed chair. She was so close yet still so far from fulfilling her job.
"Mother Confessor," Darken Rahl drawled as brought Lauren before the intimidating woman. It was impressive to think that even five months pregnant she still was just as intimidating as before.
Kahlan's eyes scanned the young girl before turning her attention to Darken. "What is it? What are you doing with that servant?"
Darken cast a glance at the girl who was becoming visibly more and more anxious with every passing second. "She's hiding something."
Lauren froze as the Mother Confessor sat a little straighter.
"What do you think she's hiding, Darken?" Kahlan asked, her fingers absently twirling one of her luscious curls as she watched Lauren.
"Something important but I don't know what. I'm not the Confessor," he said with a smirk.
"True." Kahlan stood and closed the distance between her and Lauren, her eyes locked on the terrified young girl. "What are you hiding?"
She didn't know what to do. She couldn't lie to the Mother Confessor. Lauren averted her eyes and softly mumbled, "Nothing, M'lady." She swallowed hard hoping the Mother Confessor wouldn't see through her.
Smirking, Kahlan straightened her back as she gently tipped the young girls chin with two fingers, turning Lauren to face her. "You can't lie to a Confessor, you know that right?" Her voice was firm but still gentle. She didn't want to scare the girl who she was swiftly beginning to realize could be the key to everything.
"I know that, Mother Confessor." Lauren's voice broke and she swallowed, quickly withering under Kahlan's penetrating gaze.
"Then why did you lie to me?"
"I...I don't know, Mother Confessor," Lauren said shakily as her eyes sought the floor once more.
"What are you hiding?"
"I'm not hiding anything."
"Yes you are that much is obvious. I just don't know what. Tell me or I will be forced to make you tell me." Kahlan's hand trailed across Lauren's throat in a threatening manner. The girl stiffened beneath her touch.
"I didn't mean to. Councilor Williams made me," Lauren cried as she tried to pull away from Kahlan.
"What did he make you do," Darken asked from behind her. His grip on her forearm tightening.
Kahlan glared and Lauren swallowed, her eyes locked on the floor. "He told me to poison the Mother Confessor. He said with her out of the way the Council could resume control and rule Aydindril the way it should be ruled."
Kahlan took a step back, her eyes locked on the young girl before her. The source of all these problems. "Why did you agree?"
"He was kind to me," Lauren said with a wistful smile. "I've never been treated that way by a man before."
Kahlan wasn't surprised but she was disappointed. Letting a man talk you into something she didn't agree with was against everything she had ever learned. Surly this girl should have known better than to be manipulated by a man. "So he smiled at you and complimented you and you agreed to murder the ruler of this land for him?"
Lauren shook her head and looked ashamed. "It wasn't like that. He was nice to me and he wasn't the only one. There were many people agreeing with him saying your judgment is flawed and that you have no right to rule when you treat the people harshly and bed a tyrant."
A lesser woman would have been offended but not Kahlan Amnell. She stood tall as she listened to everything Lauren had to say. He confessors face held firm as she glared at the young woman. "Is that what you think?"
Fervently, Lauren shook her head, her brown eyes locking on Kahlan's deep blue ones. "Of course not, Mother Confessor. The Confessors have ruled here for thousands of years. It is not up to him to change that."
"Quite, but still you intended to kill me and almost killed someone else. I can't let those actions go unpunished."
Lauren stepped back but Darken's hand on her lower back kept her from going anywhere. She flinched as Kahlan's hand wrapped around her throat. Her eyes widened with terror and before she could open her mouth she was suddenly flooded with warmth and the Mother Confessor's powers claimed her very soul. "Mistress," Lauren said reverently as she dropped to her knees. "How can I please you?"
“Was everything you told me about the assassination attempts true?" Kahlan said with a cool authority. Her gaze locked on the confessed woman.
"Yes, Mistress. I would never lie to you." Lauren's tone was full of admiration and love. She longed for nothing more than doing her mistresses bidding.
"And your opinions of what Councilor Williams wanted? They were true as well?"
"Of course Mistress. The Confessors should never be taken from power."
Kahlan smiled and turned to Darken. "Will Richard's wife make it?"
"I believe so. The baby is questionable, though."
Kahlan paced for a moment before tapping her finger against her lower lip. She turned on the confessed woman staring at her with open admiration, watching every move she made. "What's your name?"
"Lauren. My name is Lauren. What can I do for you Mistress? I'll do anything to please you." Her voice was desperate, like she would die without an order. She needed to know what would make her Mistress happy.
"Lauren, you are to lure Councilor Williams to the palace but do not let anyone know you have been confessed."
"Yes Mistress." Without another word, Lauren was gone. Off to see to her Mistresses desires.