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 toivanolixwho 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.
Weeks passed and Richard spent less time at work than he should have. He was constantly checking up on his new daughter. He could barely believe that she was finally here. Kahlan was ecstatic, taking care of every one of Katelyn's needs. Her multitasking skills amazed him. Zedd and Cara had returned to D’Hara once Katelyn’s health was reassured, knowing they needed to finish what they had started. Richard needed loyal people there until he was ready to go there himself.
The Mother Confessor was due any day and had stopped holding meetings with him and Darken. She didn't want to deal with any menial tasks when she was so far along. He and Darken saw to the petitioners, leaving everything else for a later date. His favorite part was coming home at night as seeing his wife rocking their daughter to sleep. It always managed to warm his heart.
"How was your day, Kahlan?" Richard said as he pressed a kiss to the top of her head and smiled down at their daughter.
"Fine," she said with a smile. "Just looking after this little one."
"And how is Katelyn doing? She hasn't been having trouble breathing has she?"
Kahlan shook her head as she lovingly cradled the infant against her chest. "No she hasn't today. She's been fine."
"I'm glad." He kneeled beside her, his fingers gently stroking his daughter's downy hair. "I want her to be healthy."
"So do I, Richard."
Darken paced nervously outside the Mother Confessor's bedchambers. Kahlan's pained cries could be heard all through the palace. Darken had been banished from the room after Kahlan shot him a cold glare. She didn't want to have anything to do with him. That was yesterday. Now he wondered what could possibly be taking so long. Surely their child should have been born hours ago.
He was frustrated. What if something was going wrong and they weren't telling him. Kahlan might be the Mother Confessor but he still had rights. This baby was his as much as she was hers. Just then the sound of a newborn's wails came from the other side of the door. Finally their baby was here.
He just stood there outside the door, slack jawed as he listened to his daughter cry. It was so different from all those years ago with Cara yet, at the same time it was just the same. Except this child would live. She would rule the Midlands one day with no one to stop her. Taking a deep breath he waited for them to allow him back into the room because as much as he wanted to see this child, he did not wish to push Kahlan after such an ordeal.
Minutes ticked by like hours until finally he heard the door open. Darken spun quickly and was immediately greeted by the midwife. She smiled at him and held open the door inviting him inside. He wasted no time and in a blink he was seated beside her, smiling down as he watched their tiny daughter suckle her mother's breast. He didn't think he had ever seen Kahlan look so happy. "She's beautiful."
Kahlan smiled weakly and nodded. "She is. Our little Cassandra. She will rule the Midlands someday."
Lightly Darken touched his fingertip to his daughter's cheek, smiling at the way she stirred and grasped his finger. "She will be a wonderful ruler."
"Indeed, A mixture of the House of Rahl and the line of Confessors. She will be a force to be reckoned with." Kahlan spoke with a hint of pride in her voice. Her daughter was not even an hour old and she knew that someday she would be the most important person in the world.
"Do you want me to leave you alone with her for while? It's not every day you give birth." Darken's finger lightly traced his daughter's pudgy cheek as he waited for her reply.
"No it's okay, Darken. She's your daughter too." She smiled then, Cassandra nuzzling her breast slightly, her mouth slipping off as she finished feeding.
"She is my daughter." He said with a smile. "And I couldn't be prouder of her."
"It's a little silly being proud of a newborn." Kahlan glanced at him and couldn't help but smile. Obviously their child was more than a political move to him. She was someone he obviously cared about.
"It might be silly," Darken said with a tilt of his head, "but she is part of us and if she is anything like her mother then I have reason to be proud."
Kahlan didn't know why but his words resonated deep within her. She smiled, her eyes dropping one more to the tiny bundle in her arms. "Would you like to hold her, Darken?"
"Of course I would," he murmured softly, scooping the baby carefully out of Kahlan's arms. "She's an angel."
She nodded, smiling slightly at the way he held their daughter close to his chest. "She is perfect."
He said nothing, just quietly rocked his daughter, holding her close. He was oblivious to the world around him. Nothing was more important in that moment then the baby in his arms.
Days passed and the Mother Confessor didn't return to work. She spent most of her time confined to her quarters with her newborn daughter. Darken was the only one who would enter the room on a regular basis. He was currently taking care of everything while Kahlan recovered from Cassandra's birth.
Darken returned to their suite around noon three days after Cassandra's birth and was surprised by what he found. Kahlan was usually rocking their daughter at this time of day but instead he found her curled up in bed, the covers pulled to her chin.
He was by her side in an instant, his eyes flitting to Cassandra in the cradle before turning his attention to Kahlan. "What's wrong?" He brushed her sweat dampened hair back from her face and gasped slightly at the feel of her skin. "You're burning up, Kahlan."
She pulled away from his touch and looked up at him with heavily lidded eyes. "I'm okay."
"You aren't okay, Kahlan. You're sick. I'll send for a healer." He was to the door in a flash, ordering the soldier patrolling the hall to send for a healer. He was worried about her. She looked so exhausted. Returning to the bed he sat at her side and took her hand in his. "You'll be okay."
She nodded slightly as her eyes drifted closed. He hated seeing her like this. He wished he knew what was wrong but there was nothing he could do until they heard from the healer. He stayed by her side the whole time she slept, watching over even once the healer arrived. She was the mother of his child and deserved his attention. Work could wait. She couldn't.
The healer examined her and finally, after nearly an hour of nervously watching, she told Darken that having been weakened from childbirth, Kahlan caught a fever that likely she would never have had she not been in a weakened state. The Healer told him that so soon after birth was a dangerous time for a woman to fall ill. That only increased his worry. He didn't know what he would do if he lost her. He didn't know how to raise Cassandra.
He was worried but was helpless. There was nothing he could do to make this better. When Cassandra cried he scooped her up, rocking her and soothing her as he watched over her mother. She wouldn't leave her. Richard could handle the petitioners for a few days. Right now the most important things in his life need him.
Darken sat on the bed with his daughter clutched to his chest, her mother's limp hand in his as he prayed to the Spirits. He had never been a man who did that, having served the Keeper for most of his life but now he needed to. He was willing to do everything he could to make Kahlan well again, no matter what it took.
Richard could hardly believe that his brother was sitting at the Mother Confessor's bedside. He didn't seem the type. It didn't make sense but he didn't argue. Richard handled all the petitioners who were willing to talk with the Seeker while his brother cared for his newborn daughter. Richard had yet to even see the baby. He didn't mind though. The last thing he needed was seeing a child with features of both her parents reminding him of exactly what the relationship between his brother and the Mother Confessor was. He had become more accepting after Darken’s help when Kahlan was poisoned but it was still awkward for him. Even though he knew they were different people it would take time to get used to the situation.
Once he finished with the petitioners he went to check on the Mother Confessor. Even if she wasn't his Kahlan she was still a part of the woman he loved. He hated seeing her so sick. Darken was at her bedside, holding her hand in his when Richard entered the room. "How is she doing?"
"The healer is hopeful but we have to let the fever run its course before we will know for sure." Darken said with obvious worry in his voice. It was something Richard had never before heard some out of his brother's mouth.
"I hope she has a quick recovery. No one should have to be sick like this." Richard glanced at her unconscious form and had to resist going to her side. She looked so much like his Kahlan had when she had fallen ill before. It broke his heart.
Darken nodded, glancing over at his brother and giving him an appreciative look. "What brought you here, Richard?"
"I was worried about her. She's not my Kahlan but she is part of the woman I fell in love with. I don't like seeing her so ill." Richard sighed as he watched the blankets over the Mother Confessor rise and fall with each of her shallow breaths.
"I don't like seeing her like this either, Brother. She's special to me. What would become of Cassandra if she doesn't make it through this?" Darken's voice cracked as he held tightly to the Mother Confessor's hand.
Richard had never seen his brother like this. Darken had always seemed almost above human emotion and to see him here, obviously upset over the Mother Confessor's health shook him to his very core. "You really do care about her, don't you?"
Darken just glanced at his brother, tightening his grip on the Mother Confessor's hand before returning her attention to her unconscious form. "I suppose I do."
Richard didn't know what to say. Part of him was glad that Darken actually had someone to care about but at the same time he wished that someone didn't resemble his wife so much. He knew it was petty but he didn’t care. It was still slightly awkward. "I didn't know you cared about anyone, Darken."
Darken glanced back over his shoulder as he lovingly caressed the Mother Confessor's hand. "Neither did I."
Richard watched his brother for a moment longer before sighing and leaving the room. He couldn't worry about them when he had his own wife and daughter that needed him. He couldn’t forget the look on Darken’s face as they had spoken though. That was something foreign to Richard and it rattled him to his core.