One Tear

Fandom: Legend of the Seeker

Pairing: Cara x Kahlan

Rating: Teen

Episode: S2 Broken

Disclaimer: I own nothing related to this show. This story is merely for entertainment

Summary: Nothing could shake Kahlan's thirst for vengeance except the sight of that one wretched tear.

Authors note: I happened to be watching Cara/Kahlan clips on YouTube and when I saw the clips for Broken and saw that little tear on Cara's face, my heart just broke into a million pieces and spurred this retelling. There isn't much dialogue aside from Cara's little plea. This is more of an introspection from Kahlan's point of view, showing the moment Kahlan began to lose her hatred.

I haven't seen the full episode and there was a scene missing amongst the clips so please forgive any storyline errors as well as any spelling/grammar mistakes. I also apologize for the rambling nature and hope it makes sense. I expect to do a follow up based on the second most poignant expression Cara showed and Kahlan's reaction to that.

One tear. Just one sad little tear turned Kahlan Amnell's world upside down and everything she'd ever known or believed had been irreversibly altered.

Kahlan had gone to Stowecroft with the sole purpose of confessing Cara Mason, the Mord'Sith who had killed her sister and every Confessor except Kahlan. She had come so close to having her vengeance the moment Cara casually revealed what she'd done but to Kahlan's disappointment, Richard had stopped her only to interfere again once the villagers of Stowecroft had imprisoned her. Instead of allowing Kahlan and the people of the village their justice, he convinced them to allow a trial where Cara would be allowed to defend herself and her despicable actions. Kahlan had begrudgingly agreed to sit in judgment only because she knew nothing that woman could say would sway her from her mission; to rid the world of one more monster.

So she listened and her rage simmered as Richard defended the life of a soulless woman while Cara said nothing on her behalf. She simply stood there, staring at Kahlan almost as if the proceedings were boring her and Kahlan's fingers positively itched to wrap around her neck until a woman Kahlan was startled to learn was Cara's sister, stood to speak on her behalf.

As Grace spoke of the Cara she had once known, Kahlan became irritated to find her rage subsiding as she listened to the appalling story of how a nine-year-old Cara, a girl so innocent she refused to even kill a fish, had been stolen from her family and brutalized until she became the unfeeling killer puppet of Darken Rahl. Even then Cara said nothing and showed no reaction to her sisters words. Not until Grace mentioned the loss of their father. To the shock of all, including Kahlan, Cara had finally spoken and it was to tell her sister almost proudly how she had killed their bastard of a father. The crowd gasped, Grace sobbed and Kahlan felt a twisted since of victory as the blonde had just proven how evil she was, but even then Richard refused to give up on Cara and continued to push her for an explanation, going so far as to use his bond as Rahl to force her to speak.

Cara announced almost indifferently that she killed her father because he had sold her to the Mord'Sith. She looked into the crowd almost smugly as she revealed that the Mord'Sith who had bought her was in fact the woman who'd been teaching the village children for years.

Kahlan was almost numb by this point and was unable to say anything as the woman now known as Nathair was put into chains beside Cara. She admitted with a sickening pride that she had been the one to train Cara. She had taught her everything and helped her to become strong.

Kahlan sneered at the woman from her seat. She knew well what was involved in 'training' a Mord'Sith and to know what sort of torture had been performed on an innocent 9-year-old girl horrified her and she easily agreed to the villagers vote for confession, but that wasn't the end of it. Once confessed, Nathair had much more to say about Cara and Kahlan had been sickened to the point of nearly losing her breakfast as she listened to the woman who had broken Cara, tell a horrifying tale of a betrayal so vile Kahlan had trouble comprehending it.

Nathair wept as she told them that she had convinced Cara her father had betrayed her in order to stir the anger and hate inside of the young girl. It was that revelation which had pushed Cara into the darkness and convinced her the Mord'Sith would be her true family, nursing her thirst for vengeance. Once she had so eagerly killed her father, Cara's breaking had been complete. But as Nathair revealed, it had been a lie. Cara's father had fought his captors for weeks, enduring endless beatings. He had endured endless hours of torture and had his throat burned so he couldn't deny the accusation leaving Cara to believe he had betrayed her in the worst way possible. And all the while Kahlan listened in horror she could see the dawning realization of what she had done on Cara's face.

Still, despite the sorrow she felt for the girl Cara had once been, it didn't erase what she did. It didn't change the fact she was a remorseless killer and while the rage had all but vanished, she had the people of the village loudly reminding her of her duty and that she'd agreed to abide by their verdict which was to confess Cara. With a reluctance that she hadn't felt before, she stepped in front of Cara whose head was bowed.

"Confess me," Cara whispered. "I deserve it."

The softly spoken words, a plea really, caused an ache in Kahlan she couldn't explain. She heard the cries of the crowd calling for blood but she had stopped listening. All that she knew was the blonde in front of her was dealing with a despicable truth that Kahlan could never hope to understand. She lifted her unexpectedly shaking hand and wrapped it around Cara's throat, shocked to feel the rapid heartbeat beneath her fingers. Cara lifted her face and met Kahlan's eyes and everything stopped. Cara's face still held no expression as she waited for death but her eyes were filled with such bleak despair they were almost back and then Kahlan saw it. A lone tear slipped down Cara's cheek and Kahlan almost gasped at the shock of it. She'd seen so many sad and horrible things but this…this tear on Cara's cheek struck her just as hard as any of those things. She had never in her life seen regret, remorse and self-hatred more clearly expressed than she did at that moment and against her will, it broke her heart.

"I can't," she muttered, knowing she was betraying her sister and the other confessors but she just couldn't do it. That one little droplet was the mirror that showed Kahlan the innocent still trapped inside leather, pain and torture and she knew that damned tear would haunt her dreams for endless nights to come. Fortunately, at that moment the villagers chose to try and kill Cara themselves so she was diverted from her thoughts for a while and allowed to vent the anger and torment that was still swirling inside of her.

When it was over, Kahlan, Richard and Zedd had argued about Cara for what seemed like hours. Kahlan had not wanted Cara along. Despite the unwanted sympathy she held for the former Mord'Sith, she didn't want the permanent reminder of the loss of her sister. Eventually Richard had convinced her that Cara was necessary for their quest so together they went to the home where Cara had been staying, her old family home and Kahlan didn't even want to contemplate how painful that must have been.

She had approached Cara, somewhat bemused to notice Cara looking as if the previous day hadn't happened. Before, Kahlan would have just seen that as further evidence that Cara Mason had no heart but it was too late. She had seen the truth and Cara's broken spirit in that one single tear and it left her torn but no matter the past, Kahlan would not let herself forget who Cara Mason was now, what she'd done and what she was capable of. Unfortunately, that aspect of Cara also made her the best protector possible for the Seeker.

With a gnawing in her gut that she couldn't explain, Kahlan coldly told Cara that she would never forgive her, but she reluctantly admitted that should something happen to her, Richard would need Cara's protection and before she could change her mind she walked away without seeing if the blonde followed, but inside she knew she did. She could almost feel the green eyes burning through her dress and she suddenly feared this woman was destined to change her life, one way or another. All because of one stupid, sad and heartbreaking tear.