DISCLAIMER: "Legend of the Seeker", its characters, and the situations depicted are the property of ABC Studios, and Terry Goodkind. This piece of fan fiction was created for fun and not profit.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Post 2x10
Perchance to Dream
The Mord'Sith do not dream. They believe dreaming is a fruitless and ultimately pointless activity. Another sign of the weakness in humans. In a world with very little, to dream of things one will never have or will never be, it gives rise to another fruitless and pointless human frailty - hope.
Cara used to dream, before she became a Mord'Sith. She dreamt of flowers and butterflies and gurgling brooks with gemstones as bright as stars at the bottom just out of hands reach. After the Mord'Sith took her, she dreamt of her home, her family, their faces smiling and arms outstretched, always out of reach, as she ran towards them.
Then, the Mord'Sith told her of her father's betrayal and, after that, Cara stopped dreaming.
Just as the Mord'Sith do not dream, they do not have nightmares. Because what could be more frightening in the world than a Mord'Sith?
So, Cara lived the life of a Mord'Sith, one without dreams and without nightmares.
Then, she met Richard Cypher and Kahlan Amnell and Cara began to have both.
Her first dream was always the same, a land of devastation and destruction. The trees, stripped of all foliage, are white and bone-dry, twisted and curved like desiccated skeletons. Smoke drifts up from the scorched soil that crunches under her feet. In the distance, there's a hill where, on the other side, Cara can hear a great battle taking place.
She can hear Richard calling for her, his voice distant, desperate. Cara quickens her steps. The smoke beneath her feet thickens, as if the Underworld itself is burning, threatening to consume the world above. The smoke rises, mixes with the fog bank suddenly and violently rolling over the hill. It's thick, it's blinding, until everything around her is a stark gray and she can barely see the Agiel's in her hands held defensively before her.
She can still hear Richard; the clang of swords, the rumbling of feet and the roar battle. She climbs the hill and the earth beneath her feet changes. The fog begins to thin. She is no longer walking on stone or dirt, but flesh, blood and bone. She sees the red leather of her Sisters contrasting with the darkened earth, their bodies bleeding, broken and ruined. She continues to climb until the hill itself becomes nothing but dead Mord'Sith.
The fog continues to thin, as if she's climbed a mountain and finally walked above the cloud layer. Richard's there at the top, just standing. He wears not his normal leathers but the clothes of his bloodline - Lord Rahl. Cara approaches. Richard's eyes are wild as he stares aimlessly into the distance, his face covered in dirt and blood.
"Lord Rahl?" Cara says.
His eyes focus, find Cara's. He looks confused, hurt, angry. His lips twist. "Where were you?"
He begins to turn around and that's when Cara sees the Sword of Truth sticking out from Richard's back as Richard falls to his knees. Dead.
Cara does not have to be a Seeker of Truth or a Mother Confessor to know the dream is nothing more than a reflection of her fear of failing Lord Rahl. Which just troubles Cara even more.
The Mord'Sith do not fear.
Cara soon becomes plagued by another dream. It starts the same as before, a scorched earth quickly enveloped with fog. She walks the same path she always walks, towards the battle growing ever louder with each step.
And then, Leo's standing in her path, smiling his Leo smile. He lifts his arm, extending it to her, a small flower held in his grasp.
Cara reaches for the flower.
Leo bursts into flames.
She awakens from this dream the same as with Richard - heart in throat, body tense, skin covered in sweat, a scream dying in the back of her throat. Cara does not know what this dream means. She doesn't waste any time contemplating it either.
There is another dream, one between the dreams of Richard and after the dreams of Leo. The one Cara, were she not a Mord'Sith and trained not to feel fear, would admit scares her the most.
Scorched earth. Dense fog. A hill. Cara's walking. She crests the hill but instead of a mountain of her dead sisters, all Cara sees is a sea blue sky, the brightest green grass and a dash of white in the middle.
The Mother Confessor turns to her. Even in the distance, Cara can tell Kahlan's smiling.
"Come to me, Cara," the Mother Confessor says.
Cara does. The ground is soft beneath her feet, the air warm and smelling of heather and cherry blossoms. It reminds Cara of a different time, a time when she wasn't a Mord'Sith, when she had a family, a home, a sister she used to run through the fields with.
There's a rumble in the distance and suddenly black clouds are enclosing around the bright blue, until there's nothing left but gray and green. Cara doesn't notice, not really. Her eyes are still focused on Kahlan, the wide smile, the outstretched arms Cara wants to fall into.
Rain begins to fall. Hard, fat drops and the ground begins to sizzle, the waist-high grass wilting, blackening, dying. The drops hit Kahlan's dress but, instead of rain, it's blood. Cara keeps walking, watching as the white turns to red and the Mother Confessor's dress is as dark as a Mord'Sith's.
Kahlan's eyes change, turning from blue to black. Cara's before Kahlan now. Kahlan reaches out with her hand, brushes the back of her fingers against Cara's face. Her hand is warm, like hearth and home, and Cara leans into the touch. Kahlan's fingers mix with the wetness running down Cara's face. Tears.
"Are these tears for me?" Kahlan asks, still smiling, her eyes black as coal, her dress blood red. Her fingers brush over Cara's lips like a lover's caress. Cara opens her mouth and shivers at the taste of Kahlan's skin on her tongue.
"Confess me, Mother," Cara says. She wants this, she's just uncertain what 'this' is. Love. Death. The end. The beginning.
The fingers on her lips glide down to her throat. The Confessor's magic surges within Cara, ripples across her skin, pools and tightens within her. She's frozen, unable to move.
Kahlan drifts closer, until all Cara can see are black eyes and pale skin. She feels lips, Kahlan's lips, soft and warm. There's a moan, only Cara's not sure if it's she or Kahlan moaning. The kiss deepens, hungry and urgent, Cara's entire body begins to thrum, tingling all over from the lips pressed against her, the fingers wrapped around her throat.
Pain. All Cara can feel is pain. Hot. Excruciating. Pain that goes beyond the threshold of Mord'Sith. The fingers around her throat tighten. Kahlan pulls her lips away, her fingers still wrapped around Cara's neck. Cara watches as Kahlan's skin begins to shrivel and desiccate. It flakes, peels, drifts off her face like old and crumbling parchment taken away by a wind that is there but not. Kahlan continues to dissolve until there's nothing but bone. Bone that turns to dust and drifts away.
Leaving Cara alone in a scorched and barren land.
Cara's in the woods, her back to a tree, Richard's bow held tightly in her hand. Tired of the Wizard's constant natterings, tired of Richard, Kahlan and the thing between them Cara thought she was supposed to want only to have it ripped from her grasp when she reached. So she chooses to hunt, because hunting gives her solitude. Hunting allows her to her rely on that which she knows - how to be a Mord'Sith.
Her ears prick at the sound of footsteps. It's the Confessor and Cara purses her lips at having left a trail.
"If you were a deer," Cara calls out, "you'd be dead by now."
Kahlan emerges from the trees, a soft smile on her lips. "The day you mistake me for a deer will be a dark day indeed."
It's a compliment, Cara knows. But the Mord'Sith have no time for compliments. "A rabbit perhaps."
Kahlan keeps her distance but Cara knows - a thought which disturbs her, knowing the Mother Confessor so well, so.. intimately - Kahlan is here to talk. Cara watches her from the corner of her eye, the way Kahlan inspects her, internally choosing her approach. It lasts for several minutes and Cara relishes the silence.
"Are you okay?" Kahlan finally asks.
"If you wish to talk, choose the Wizard," Cara replies, her voice flat and cold. "He is never without an ear even though he prefers to constantly use his mouth. My ears, on the other hand, are currently busy."
Kahlan quiets. She doesn't leave. She never just leaves. "I've noticed you haven't been sleeping."
Cara stiffens. She wonders if the Confessor can read her now that she's been dreaming. If she had her Sisters, she could ask. All Cara has now is herself and her instincts. Instincts frayed, weathered and worn, in no part, by the woman standing before her.
"I've been dreaming," Cara finally says because maybe then, if she talks, just a little, Kahlan will leave.
"What?" Kahlan chuckles. "The Mord'Sith don't dream?"
Cara finally turns her gaze towards Kahlan. Her eyes cold, hard. "No."
Kahlan smiles. Cara shivers because it reminds her of her dream. "Everybody dreams, Cara. Even a Mord'Sith." She steps closer, her movements like she's approaching a wounded animal, gentle but wary. Close to Cara's shoulder, she places a hand on the tree. Cara pushes herself away.
"Cara," Kahlan whispers, wounded. Cara stops. She lowers her head, inhales, then turns it just slightly towards Kahlan.
"I dream of Richard dying.. and Leo."
With that, Cara's gone, disappearing into the forest. This time, she leaves no trail for Kahlan to follow.
There are some battles even a Mord'Sith can not win. It doesn't stop Cara from trying. She hasn't slept in days. The Seeker and the Wizard are gone, off on their search for the Stone of Tears, Cara and Kahlan left behind to defend another village from another rogue troop of D'Haran soldiers. Now, Cara and Kahlan wait at the rendezvous point, where Kahlan sleeps and Cara does not.
She sits by the fire, one hand wrapped around the legs drawn up to her chin. With her other hand, the glove removed and her fingers splayed open, she holds it over the flames. Cara watches as the flames lick her fingers, the pain building on her skin, the familiar sensation trickling through her nerves and slicing through the heavy weight of sleep. Before the heat can cause any damage, Cara pulls her hand away.
"Cara?" Kahlan's voice is soft. "What are you doing?"
"Go back to sleep."
Kahlan doesn't listen. Kahlan never listens to Cara. She's up and on her feet, walking over to Cara and then squatting down. She watches, face creased with worry, as Cara puts her hand back over the fire. "How long did you sleep?"
"That is none of your concern."
"You need to sleep." Kahlan wraps her hand around Cara's wrist, pulling it back from the flame. The tension grows within Cara but it doesn't turn into strength. It doesn't turn into resistance against the hand forcing Cara not to do what she wants. The energy withdraws from her like smoke forced back by a strong breeze. Cara doesn't have the energy and her body retreats from the fight.
A Mord'Sith always has the energy to fight.
"Lord Rahl commanded me to protect you," Cara says, her voice sounding distant and faraway in her own ears. As if she's imagined herself saying the words because she sounds so weak. "I can't do that if I'm asleep."
Kahlan smiles. "I'm sure Lord Rahl wouldn't mind.."
"You die in my dreams," the words fall quick from Cara's lips.
Kahlan goes quiet. Cara feels a tiny burst of energy, a triumph at having made the Confessor, for once, go quiet. It doesn't last long, not enough because the words she knows she could keep inside are pouring from her lips.
"You confess me. You kiss me. You die." Cara pulls the arm around her legs tighter. Her eyes focused on the fire as if she could burn the vision away. "And I'm alone."
Silence. But then the Confessor's moving, edging closer to Cara and then sitting down. She reaches out with her hand, brushing the hair off Cara's face. Cara fights the desire to lean into Kahlan's touch, the desire to make the phantom sensations of her dream reality.
"Cara." Kahlan moves her fingers to Cara's chin, turns Cara's face until their eyes meet. "Do you trust me enough to watch over you while you sleep?"
Cara examines the Mother Confessor's face with her eyes. She wonders if Kahlan can see into her. If Cara's that weak now. But, her body speaks first because she's so tired, so very tired. Cara doesn't realize she's leaning into Kahlan until she feels Kahlan's arm draping around her shoulders, warmer than any blanket, and Cara's head is resting on Kahlan's lap. Her eyes go heavy and Cara loses the battle even a Mord'Sith can't win.
Fog. The ground is soft beneath Cara's feet. It smells of wet earth and foliage. As she walks, she sees forest, deep and lush green. It's been a good day of hunting. She knows because of the bow in one hand, the two hare's and a duck in the other.
The forest thins and Cara's walking on a road. The sun streaks through the forest in luminous rays across the path. There's a cart approaching from the other direction. Richard and Zedd, sitting atop, smile and wave their hello's at her.
Cara smiles back.
The path ends, coming to a cottage. Behind the cottage, green grass and rolling hills stretch as far as the eye can see. Cara sees a dot of yellow in the high grass. A child, no more than five, comes running towards her. Her hair as golden as the sun and bright blue eyes. Cara's smile widens as the child runs into her arms because she knows the child is hers.
They enter the cottage, smiling and laughing. The child places Cara's catch on the table as proudly as if she'd caught them herself.
Cara turns to the sound of Kahlan's voice. She has no time to consider the simple peasant's dress, or the flour dotting her cheeks, because Kahlan's arms are drawing over Cara's shoulders, her lips pressing softly against Cara's. All she feels is the warmth of Kahlan's lips, the curve of her body as it presses against her.
They're in the bedroom. The room illuminated by both fire and moonlight. Kahlan's back is turned to Cara. Cara sweeps the hair off her neck, presses her lips to the soft, pale skin as her fingers pull the dress off Kahlan's shoulders.
Kahlan's hand, it's pulling Cara's by the wrist and onto the bed. Cara molds herself against Kahlan, uses her fingers, lips and skin to map the terrain both achingly familiar and completely foreign. She tastes like all the things a Mord'Sith no longer needs or should no longer want. Cara wants to drink until she bursts.
Slow passion quickly turns to an urgent hunger. Cara licks and suckles Kahlan's pulse point. Kahlan digs her fingers into Cara's back, her moans low and throaty in Cara's ear. Her hips rise, legs opening and she arcs herself into Cara. Cara slides a hand between them and Kahlan trembles beneath her, gasping loudly, as Cara slips her fingers inside.
Cara lifts her head, gazes down at Kahlan.
"Open your eyes," Cara says. The lids open slowly, barely. The blue eyes hooded and glazed with passion. "Confess me, Mother."
Kahlan's eyes open wider, the color stays the same. The tension, the friction between them builds.
"Tell me.." Kahlan smiles, licks her lips. "Tell me you love me."
Cara's eyes snap open. Her lips pursed tight, she breathes heavily, the air forced through her nose. She's shivering, covered in a light sheen of sweat. It takes her a moment to realize the warmth against her back is Kahlan, recognizes the heaviness around her waist as Kahlan's arm.
Her eyes dart about as her heartbeat begins to fall back to normal. The fire has died. The horizon has turned purple and dark red, announcing the eventual arrival of the morning sun.
Careful not to wake Kahlan - ignoring the thoughts of when she began to care if she disturbed the Mother Confessor - Cara slips out of her loose embrace. It feels good to be on her feet, in motion, awake. She gathers more wood and starts another fire. As the fire begins to rise, the heat intensifying, Cara sticks her hand over the flame.
This time, she lets her skin burn. No matter what Cara does, the dream continues to linger, flicks about her memory like the flames licking her fingers. She tries to keep her eyes from Kahlan, only to fail. The moment she catches site of pale skin and dark hair, she can feel her pulse begin to rise, a phantom taste on her tongue, a dull heat flaring below her stomach. Her brows crease as she pulls her hand from the flame, curls her fingers into a fist. Even the sting of the blisters forming on her palm are not enough to erase the images in her mind.
She understood her dreams of Richard, ignored the ones of Leo. Buried deep the one of Kahlan. But this new one, it troubles her the most. She is Mord'Sith, and the Mord'Sith do not dream. The images in her mind are nothing more than an infection. But how can she cleanse herself of something buried deep within her mind, and her heart? Cara has fallen off the path and without her Sisters to keep her straight, Cara has become weak with the most pathetic of human frailties -
Cara is Mord'Sith. She does not dream. She does not fear. But, the return of these nocturnal flights of fancy, one's that give rise to dreams of things that can never be. The ones that give Cara hope.
That scares Cara more than anything.
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