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Title: And the History Books Forgot About Us...
Summary: Cara and Dahlia become Mord’Sith together. After Richard, Kahlan, Cara and Zedd save the world, Cara meets a stranger in a tavern.
Spoilers: 2x22 Tears
Disclaimer: This is the first fic I've written in years so go easy on me :D
“Everyone we have a new student with us today. This is Dahlia.”
Cara wriggled in her seat and looked at the new girl. She was small and seemed shy, studiously avoiding looking anyone in the eye. Cara saw two boys at the back of the room giggling and whispering behind their hands. She glared at them.
“Dahlia?” The new girl finally looked up and met their teacher’s eyes. “Do you want to pick somewhere to sit?”
Cara knew right away that Dahlia wouldn’t want to pick. What if I pick wrong? was written all over her face. Dahlia was slowly looking around the room, trying to decide where to sit. Cara saw her look her way once, twice, before looking away again. Cara put her hand up.
“Dahlia can sit with me.” She moved over on the bench and smiled at Dahlia. The other girl blushed and slowly made her way towards Cara. Cara watched her settle at their table and cast another shy glance around the room. Dahlia’s eyes flickered towards Cara and then quickly away.
Cara had been in the dungeon for two weeks when they threw Dahlia in with her. There had been other girls with her at first but she was the only one left now.
“C-Cara?” Dahlia’s voice was croaky and Cara knew her voice probably sounded the same way. It was the screaming. It hurt your throat.
Cara nodded, “It’s me.” Her voice did sound the same. She swallowed and then coughed into her hand. “Are you – are you alright?”
Dahlia just stared at her, slowly she shook her head. “They beat me. Hurt me. Their sticks scream and burn when they touch you.”
“Agiels.” Cara spat the word out.
Dahlia nodded and then winced. She reached up and felt her neck under her hair, and her hand came away bloody. She stared at the blood in her hand for a long time before wiping her hand on the wet stone floor. She sniffed and then her little body was wracked by a great choking sob. Wordlessly, Cara moved over and wrapped her arm around Dahlia’s shoulders, pulling her close.
“Why are they doing this to us Cara?”
Cara wished she could answer. She didn’t know why she and Dahlia had been taken from her families, why they were the only ones left here now. She felt the tears pricking at the corner of her own eyes and blinked them away. Slowly, as if from far away, the answer came to her, words whispered to her while the agiel burnt her skin.
“They’re going to make us strong.”
They’d been with the Mord’Sith for a year now but they were still returned to their cold stone cell every night after their training. Dahlia was already there nursing her wounds when Mistress Nathair dropped Cara onto the floor with a fine disregard for her broken body.
Dahlia watched until Nathair had left, counting the footsteps down the hall until she was sure they were alone, before hurrying across the little space between them and pulling Cara into her lap.
Cara coughed, a weak wet sound deep in her lungs, and moaned as Dahlia gently touched her hand to Cara’s forehead. “Dahlia…” her name sounded like a whispered plea although for what Dahlia didn’t know.
Cara coughed again and slowly opened her eyes. Dahlia knew she was looking at the bruises on her own face, bruises she’d forgotten as soon as she saw the state Cara was in. Slowly, Cara’s hand reached up to cup Dahlia’s cheek but Dahlia pushed her away.
“Don’t. It’s nothing. Let me care for you now.”
Their eyes met for a long moment before Cara’s lost their focus and drifted shut. Carefully, so as not to hurt her further, Dahlia wrapped her arms around Cara and leaned down to press a kiss to her bruised forehead.
It was another three years before Dahlia finally killed her mother and that night when Dahlia was returned to her Cara wordlessly held her arms out until Dahlia filled them. Dahlia didn’t cry and Cara didn’t offer words of comfort. They just sat there in the dark, bodies hard now from their training but still pressed together like when they were smaller.
Cara ran her fingers down Dahlia’s new braid and then lower down to her face. She still had one fading bruise around her temple and Cara pressed her fingers to it, willing it away.
Dahlia leaned into the touch and gazed up at Cara with a hint of her smile on her face. “You always know how to take care of me.”
“We take care of each other,” Cara corrected gently. Her fingers rested on Dahlia’s forehead and Dahlia reached up to entwine their fingers together.
Cara smiled then and impulsively leaned down to press her lips to Dahlia’s. When she pulled back Dahlia’s gazed up at her happily and Cara wondered why she’d never done that before.
As if she could read her mind Dahlia said, “I wondered when you’d work up the courage to do that.”
Cara sniffed, “I’m a Mord’Sith in training, I have plenty of courage!” and she leaned down to kiss Dahlia again.
Sometimes Cara and Dahlia were trained together. On those days the entire room seemed to be alive with a never ending wave of Mord’Sith and Cara could hardly keep track of what was happening. The agiels seemed to be everywhere at once, and it was all she could do to keep Dahlia’s face in her mind and will the pain to withdraw.
The first time they’d been trained together they’d been so close that they could touch their hands together and feel the burn of the agiel through each other’s skin. They were caught of course – comfort had no place amongst the Mord’Sith – and beaten to the brink of death before being taken to separate rooms.
They hadn’t seen each other for two weeks. When they were finally allowed to see each other again they were forced to use the agiels on each other. It didn’t make any difference, it hurt just the same. When they were taken to their old cell they huddled together all night long afraid to fall asleep in case they woke up alone again.
A lot of time had passed since then. They no longer slept in a cell, but a bare room in the temple – still pressed close together at night – and their training was infrequent and endured wordlessly. They wore leather now and soon they would be granted their own agiels.
Cara stood proud under the glare of Lord Rahl with Dahlia and the other newly trained Mord’Sith by her side. Mistress Nathair was presenting them to him to do with as he pleased. Lord Rahl stalked around the room inspecting them all. Inwardly Cara bristled when his gaze lingered on Dahlia for a moment longer than was appropriate but outwardly she didn’t move an inch. She was Mord’Sith now and Dahlia no longer belonged to her alone.
Very quickly Dahlia’s eyes flashed to Cara and a smirk briefly settled on her lips before disappearing. It was a smirk that was intended only for Cara and Cara filed it away in her mind with all the other little ways Dahlia looked at her. She also knew it’s meaning, Lord Rahl likes me better than you. I’m the best Mord’Sith, and if they’d been alone she would have proven to Dahlia just who the best Mord’Sith was.
Cara’s eyes returned to the front of the room just in time to see Lord Rahl departing. Mistress Nathair dismissed them for the evening – in recognition for becoming Mord’Sith they were allowed an evening to do with as they pleased – and Dahlia stepped into Cara’s line of vision, a hungry look on her face.
“I’m going to my room.”
The invitation was clear. Cara raised an eyebrow at her, all the acknowledgment they could risk in front of the others, and watched as Dahlia departed. After a moment she slipped out of the hall and headed for the simple room they still shared. They’d been told they would be moving into new quarters befitting their station in the morning. Cara had never wanted anything less.
Cara knocked on their door twice – their signal to each other – before stepping through the door. The room was dark and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust. When they did her breath caught in her throat.
“I thought you weren’t coming.” There was a challenge in Dahlia’s voice, and Cara immediately met it.
“I had other offers to consider before deciding where to spend my night.” It was a lie and Dahlia knew it. Though they’d both had other offers they were yet to take them. This was all they needed.
Cara stepped further into the room, nearly tripping over Dahlia’s abandoned leathers. She was about to lower herself onto the bed when Dahlia spoke again.
“Take those off.”
With shaking fingers Cara hurried to free herself from her leather prison, wanting nothing more than to feel the press of Dahlia’s skin against her own.
Dahlia had missed Cara at the morning devotion. As soon as she had a free moment she hurried to Cara’s room and glanced up and down the corridor before knocking twice and stepping inside.
Cara was huddled on the bed, her back to the door and Dahlia immediately knew something was wrong. “Cara?”
Slowly Cara rolled over to face Dahlia. Her face was expressionless. “I’m with child.”
Dahlia’s eyes widened. “What?”
Dahlia blinked slowly as the news sunk in. Part of her wanted to storm through the halls of the People’s Palace killing everyone in her way until she found Lord Rahl and made him suffer for doing this to Cara. She killed that part quickly. Out loud she said, “It is an honour.” She couldn’t quite make her voice match the words.
Cara understood. She always understood. “It is.”
They stared at each for a long moment before Dahlia closed the distance between them and pressed her lips to Cara’s forehead. “She will be strong like her mother.”
Cara met her gaze. “Yes, she will.”
“I’m being sent to another temple.” Dahlia stood straight and stared ahead as she told Cara the news. She was afraid to meet her eyes so she stared over Cara’s golden head and fixed her eyes on the wall.
Cara had not long given birth to a boy. She would not be travelling to another temple.
“I heard. You are to be the leader.” Cara’s voice was hard with an emotion Dahlia couldn’t place.
“Yes.” Slowly she lowered her eyes to meet Cara’s gaze. “I wish you were going with me.”
That was all it took. Cara quickly crossed the room and pulled Dahlia towards her. They kissed hungrily and when Cara pulled back Dahlia found herself pressed up again the wall, Cara’s body hard against her. Cara was kissing her neck, biting once, twice, before finding her lips again.
This time Dahlia was the one to pull back. “I will come back to you. We’ll see each other again soon.” Her last words were lost in a moan as Cara pulled her closer and kissed her again.
Cara had to look away when Richard and Kahlan were kissing. Fine, they’d saved the world but did they really have to do that where anyone could see? Zedd wasn’t helping, standing there waxing lyrical about the power of their love and how they’d saved the world. The fact was Cara had bought Richard back to life. The least they could do was thank her.
She rolled her eyes and turned away. Her fingers brushed the handle of her agiel and she felt the familiar pain hum through her skin.
“Cara?” It was Kahlan. Cara had been lost in her thoughts. “Are you coming?”
Cara nodded and picked up her pack from the floor. “I’m sure we can find someone else to save.”
“Cara!” Kahlan giggled. “What else do we have to do now we’ve saved the world?”
Cara sat alone in the tavern. Kahlan and Richard were upstairs in their room. Cara didn’t want to think about what they were doing. The Wizard was off somewhere doing Creator knows what and Cara was halfway through her second tankard of ale. She glanced up when the door opened and watched with interest as a hunter stalked up to the bar and ordered a drink.
Cara appraised the other woman’s forest clothes and the fine longbow slung over one shoulder. When she finally glanced at the woman’s face she saw the other woman was staring just as openly at her, a smirk on her lips.
“That’s a fine bow.” Cara nodded towards the weapon.
“It was my father’s.” The hunter swung the bow off her shoulder in one fluid movement and offered it to Cara.
Cara ran her fingers lightly down the wood, and then sighted down an imaginary arrow. “It’s beautiful. I have one like it myself.”
The hunter made a show of looking round, “Where?”
Cara cursed. It was upstairs with their things in Richard and Kahlan’s room. She wasn’t going to retrieve it. “Upstairs. My friends have a room.”
The hunter smirked again. “So what do you fight with when you don’t have your bow? I don’t see any other weapons.”
Cara realized with surprise that the hunter didn’t know she was a Mord’Sith. Now it was Cara’s turn to smirk. She pulled one of her agiels from her belt and offered it to the hunter.
The hunter looked at it skeptically. “A stick?”
Cara wordlessly moved it closer. With a sigh the hunter grabbed it. Her whole body recoiled but she didn’t let go of the agiel. She stared at it, shock and pain evident on her face.
“It hurts.” She said through gritted teeth.
Cara nodded and took it back, impressed that the other woman hadn’t cried out. “It always hurts. I have been trained to use it.” She realized then that she didn’t want to explain all that she’d been through as a child, alone and hurting in a Mord’Sith temple. Not to this woman, whoever she was, even if she had withstood the agiel’s affects for a few moments. She turned back to the bar.
“Anyone who can handle that deserves another drink.” The hunter signaled the tavernkeeper and Cara jerked back towards her, about to say that she didn’t want her pity-drink but the words died on her lips. There wasn’t pity in the other woman’s eyes, there was respect.
“I’m Cara.” The words were out of her mouth quickly, before she realized what she was doing.
“Cara.” The hunter rolled the word around on her tongue, as if she was testing it. Finally she nodded, “I’m Dahlia.”
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