LotS - Lost and Found
Synopsis: The longer she was with these people, the more she felt like she didn’t know herself at all.
Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
A/N: Written for 10_fics, prompt fading.
Lost and Found
Fire had a strange duality to it. In one way, it was a comfort. So easy to get lost in the flames, to let her mind wander as she watched it flare and spark. They had cooked their evening meal on it and the others lay close to it for warmth, illuminated by its golden glow as they slept on while she stood watch.
But it was also a threat. Darken Rahl used fire to visit them from the Underworld. He’d already taunted her once. He wanted her to kill, to go back to who she had been before. She’d told him she no longer served him, that she served Richard. She had almost lost herself then. She had been so close to failing in her duty to Richard, so close to going back to the Underworld for the rest of eternity. Ultimately, she had escaped Rahl’s clutches, but she hadn’t done it alone. She had been forced to rely on Thaddicus’s sacrifice and, in the end, it was Richard who saved her. None of them had given up on her. They’d brought her back.
All her life, her only goal had been to protect the Lord Rahl, to be the unfailing wall of protection against those who wished him harm. To any enemies of the House of Rahl, she was their worst nightmare. There wasn’t a person in D’Hara or the Midlands who didn’t recognize what her red leather stood for.
But Richard had accepted her. Even before he knew who he was and that he had every right to demand her loyalty, he had chosen to place his faith in her. In turn, she had helped him defeat Darken Rahl when everything she had ever known said that it was the wrong thing to do. Now she was the only one of her sisters who had chosen to serve him instead of following after the ghost of their former master.
She was alone--but at the same time, she had never felt so...so much like she belonged. It was the most confusing situation she had ever found herself in.
It used to be so simple. She followed orders, killed who she was told to, captured who she was told to. Now she had to worry about what she said or how she treated some random stranger. She didn’t think she would ever get used to the disproving frown of the Mother Confessor or the quiet, sometimes exasperated, explanation of human etiquette from the First Wizard every time she offended someone. She was Mord-Sith; these things didn’t matter to her.
Everything these crazy people did was to help others. They were on a mission to find the Stone of Tears so they could lock the Keeper and his servants away in the Underworld, never to bother the land of the living again. But let them see one tear-streaked, dirty face of some pathetic villager, and off they went, desperate to lend their aid. She seemed to be the only one on this quest who realized that all these distractions were a waste of time. Every moment they wasted saving the lives of a few people, more banelings rose to serve the Keeper’s will. It was a hopeless struggle.
Everything was easier when you worked for the bad guys.
She turned her back on the fire, gripping her Agiel. The most confusing part of all this? She didn’t miss her old life. Her sisters, everything they had done—all those memories were still there, carefully stowed away in a compartment of her mind. But that’s all they were. Memories.
The longer she was with these people, the more she felt like she didn’t know herself at all. Everything that she had thought was important had faded away into the background, replaced by something else—some sense of purpose. She was needed, maybe even wanted. A little. Most likely for her fighting skills.
Whatever the reason, she was still here. Zedd no longer slept with a dagger hidden in his robes, one hand clutching the hilt. Kahlan stood a little closer and smiled a little more. She actually treated Cara with…was it respect? She wasn’t sure. It wasn’t something she was used to.
Cara had always been feared. People kept their distance, bowed, begged, acquiesced—but never respected her. How in the name of the Spirits was she supposed to react to this?
She clenched her Agiel even tighter, her knuckles white beneath the red leather of her gloves.
With Darken Rahl, she had known what was expected of her. With these people, she had no idea how she was supposed to feel.
She looked back, at the others as they slept in peace. As much as she had fought, as much as she'd resisted--somehow these people had wormed their way into her heart. She wanted to protect them--all of them, not just Richard, the Lord Rahl. And not just because he had ordered it.
She'd never felt so vulnerable, but not just that--she'd never felt so much like she belonged. She wasn't sure how she felt about that yet.
Cara finally released the white-knuckled grip on her Agiel, released the pain.
The edges of night began to glow with the coming sun. She stood watch over the others as the dark faded and the new day dawned.