thegirl20 said: cara/kahlan; accidental-baby-acquisition
They were too late to save the village. Cara blames Richard for it, when she lets herself feel the devastation of loss. If he hadn’t insisted on being the guide, they wouldn’t have gotten lost. If they hadn’t gotten lost, they could have made it on time. But they were too late. The only consolation is that Richard looks as guilty as Cara thinks he should be.
She hates this life, the one where she feels things, like guilt and loss and heartache. She hates the other side of it too, the joy and the hope and the flutter she gets in her chest whenever Kahlan slides closer in the night, their bedrolls practically one over the other. She hates that Richard smiles that smile he has for when he is oh-so-terribly amused by something Cara does. She hates that she’s become Cara, the Girl Who Holds Hands With Kahlan at night. Cara the Mord'Sith has no power here and she hates it.
She kicks at the rubble of a hut and sits down on a scorched tree log. There’s some type of commotion in the corner of the destroyed village but Cara won’t give Richard the satisfaction of being interested. She has decided that she won’t talk to him until his next stupid action and then she will yell at him.
But the commotion grows louder and when she finally looks up, it’s the the shadow of Kahlan crossing over her.
And Kahlan is holding something.
“A baby,” Kahlan says. “A baby survived all of this.”
Cara feels her anger surging again. “It wouldn’t have needed to survive if we had been here earlier.”
Richard, across the distance, winces.
“What do we do with it?” Kahlan asks, her eyes cast down on the small bundle.
“We leave it,” Cara says, as if it is the obvious answer.
Kahlan looks up at that, her eyes flashing. “We will not.”
“We will not, Cara,” Kahlan says firmly. “We’ll take him with us.”
Cara scowls. “A boy child. You want us to take a boy child with us on our journey.” She points at Richard. “He’s the one that collects strays. Talk to him.”
“Yes,” Kahlan agrees. “He collected you, didn’t he?”
Cara’s scowl grows deeper. “How dare-”
“Cara, please,” Kahlan says softly. “He has no one. He needs us.”
“I do not do well with children,” Cara says after a few minutes, her voice tight.
Kahlan smiles and Cara feels something inside of her melt. She hates that. “I’ll teach you,” Kahlan promises, reaching one hand out and brushing it against Cara’s jawline. “I’ll teach you to love.”
Cara doesn’t tell Kahlan that she already has, maybe, but she promises herself she won’t get too attached to the boy.
If she cries, eighteen summers later, when the boy goes off to fight in the war next to his Uncle Richard, she doesn’t give Kahlan the satisfaction of seeing her do it.
But the next day in the marketplace, when the old women are talking about their sons off in battle, Cara mentions that she worries for her own and Kahlan pretends not to hear her.
Cara doesn’t really hate that.