The day started normal enough. She woke up at first light to the sound of Richard's boots shuffling next to her head while he passed by her bedroll. She got up, adjusted her agiels, and went towards the forest, "I'll be right back," she said to Richard without turning back.
"Alright, I'll wake up the others, we should get going soon," he said with that boyish grin she was used to by now.
She didn't know exactly were she was going, she just needed a little time to herself; after what happened yesterday she needed to put herself together. She clutched her agiels, letting the familiar pain curse through her. Yesterday something changed, or better yet, she noticed something might be changing in her. It possibly started changing before, but being who she is, acknowledging that was unthinkable. She knew anger, she knew pride, knew loyalty and duty. But there is something new, a throbbing feeling in her chest that she can't identify. She just fells it, almost taunting her, and not knowing what it is unnerves her more than she cares to admit.
When she and Kahlan were trapped in that awful tomb, she actually thought they weren't going to make it alive. The Mord'Sith went to the extreme of trying to end her life to increase the chances of saving the Mother Confessor's. Stubborn woman had to prevent me, she thought rolling her eyes at the memory, at least we had a good work out, she smirked a little as she remembered the fight between them. Plus, she also admitted that she cared about the Confessor, considered her…a friend. Cara never saw herself performing any of those acts, either trying to save a Confessor, her once sworn enemy, and least of all disclosing her friendliness towards that same woman. She shook her head, effectively dispersing those thoughts, and made her way back to camp. Noticing that she was carrying something, Cara looked down and was surprised to see blackberries in her hands. Must likely, she picked them up absentmindedly. I don't like blackberries that much… but Kahlan loves these things, I might as well take them to her. Shrugging her shoulders, she went on her way.
At camp, Zedd was biting on a piece of dried lamb in a satisfactory manner. Richard was smiling at is grandfather and his obvious enjoyment of the food. Kahlan wasn't there, and Cara took the opportunity to leave the blackberries on the Mother Confessor's bedroll without the other two noticing.
"There you are Cara, Kahlan went to wash up, you should eat something before we leave," Richard suggested.
"I'm not hungry," Cara answered dismissively. "But I see some of us never lose their appetite," she added looking at the wizard with a raised eyebrow.
"I'll have you know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day," the wizard said as if was giving a lecture, not showing any sign of being upset by the blonde's sarcastic comment. "With the distance we cover every day, I have to maintain my strength," Zedd defended himself.
"We would cover a lot more ground if we didn't stop at every town to save the poor little children of Sprits knows what," Cara retorted without missing a beat, fixing both men with a pointed stare. She couldn't understand how finding that pebble was so important and yet Richard would stop constantly along their journey to help every single one of the damsels in distress.
Richard just smiled shaking his head, he was aware of what Cara thought about his decisions to pause their quest for the Stone of Tears and help people in need; but he also knew that in spite of all her comments, Cara always helped the town's people right along with him, Zedd and Kahlan. And by now he suspected that she didn't do it just because he, her Lord Rahl, asked her to. He believed part of her wanted to help those people, he believed she changed and that she wasn't the monster others, and sometimes even herself, saw in her.
"The Seeker must go where his help is needed, and every day that passes we are closer to finding the stone. I believe in Richard's abilities to fulfill his mission," Zedd said proudly, getting up and squeezing his grandson's shoulder encouragingly. Richard smiled his thanks to the wizard and Cara just rolled her eyes at the scene and his words.
"I see you guys are having a good time." Kahlan said, approaching them and smiling at the banter between her travelling companions. Of course she knew Cara wasn't joking, the blond often complained about Richard's habit of taking time off the quest to lend a helpful hand everywhere. But then again, she always helped too, and she was complaining less and less every time. She could be getting used to it, but Kahlan suspected the fierce blonde had a well-hidden desire to help, as well as she and the two men did. She just didn't know it yet.
"Cara started it," Richard said grinning at Kahlan and looking at Cara from the corner of his eye. The Mord'Sith turned her head slowly in his direction with a raised eyebrow, scoffed and went to put away all her stuff in order to get going.
Kahlan shook her head good naturedly as she walked to her bedding, with the intention of packing it, and found a handful of blackberries nestled carefully on top. She picked them up and turned to Richard. "Thank you Richard, you remembered that I love these," she said with a little smile.
"What?" Richard asked while looking at Kahlan's hand. After he recognized the blackberries he replied. "Oh, it wasn't me. I didn't leave camp. But Cara did… maybe you should ask her," Richard said with a furrowed brow that showed his confusion. Cara picking up blackberries?
"Cara?" Kahlan said pleasantly surprised. "I'll ask her," the Confessor said looking in Cara's direction.
The proud Mord'Sith was standing with a tilted hip looking at the horizon, one hand resting on the agiel at her waist. The blonde was quite since the day before. Kahlan hoped that all the things Cara said to her in that tomb would be acknowledged outside of it too, but not so surprisingly, on their way out of town Cara just shrugged it off, claiming that it was the lack of air making her delusional. The Confessor was equally amused and exasperated with this answer. She was certain Cara meant every word, after all the D'Haran woman always spoke what was on her mind, with no care for how her words affected others. But those words were never related to her feelings, and the fact that Cara said out loud that she considered her, a Confessor, a friend… That was something Kahlan never anticipated and somehow, she was longing to ear.
Things got off on a rocky start between the Confessor and the Mord'Sith, but after forcibly spending time together on the road, and especially after Stowcroft, when the Mother Confessor looked deep into the Mord'Sith's eyes and saw the remorse in them, she started seeing the blonde in another light. She stopped seeing just a Mord'Sith to start seeing Cara, the woman, her friend.
Friend…Cara was more than that; she was always there to watch her back silently. In the middle of battle, despite the chaos surrounding her, she felt safe at all times. It was when Richard left to the Palace of Prophets and Zedd was kidnapped by Denna that Kahlan found herself in the midst of a battle and still felt like she was protected, that the feeling of safety was there, strong like all the other times. She realized then that Cara was the reason for that, the blonde was the one that transmitted her that sense of security. Could you call that just a simple friendship? Or was their connection stronger than that? She didn't know, what she did know is that their relationship was changing, they formed a bond that was stronger every day. Whatever it was, she was glad that they shifted from being Mother Confessor and Mord'Sith to being Kahlan and Cara.
Kahlan approached Cara with some hesitation, the blonde looked deep in though. "Cara, thank you for the blackberries," she smiled looking in the blonde's eyes to emphasize her words. "I actually thought it was Richard, but he told me it wasn't him so I assumed…"
"You assumed right," Cara interrupted her. "It's not like the wizard would let go of his food to do anything," she said dryly, returning her gaze to the sea of trees visible from small hill where they were standing.
Kahlan chuckled. "You're right, the first thing Zedd will do after waking up is eat, and nothing can interrupt that," she looked back at the man in question who was still latching onto his food with gusto.
"Do you want some?" Kahlan asked after a second.
"Excuse me?" Cara's head snapped to look at Kahlan with eyes slightly widened and lips parted in anticipation of the answer.
"Blackberries. Do you want some blackberries?" Kahlan asked again thrusting her hand full of blackberries towards the blonde. That was strange, there's definitely something bothering her.
"Oh, no, I'm not really hungry," said Cara while her face turned to her normal stoic self. Spirits, what is wrong with me? Why would she mean anything other than the stupid blackberries?
"You should eat something before we leave, just one of the little ones?" the Mother Confessor selected one of the smaller blackberries and picked it up between her thumb and forefinger. She extended her hand Cara's way and offered it to the blonde. The brunette looked at Cara with a playful smile and a glint of mirth in her eyes, waiting for the Mord'Sith's reaction.
Cara glanced at Kahlan and saw that spark in the brunette's eyes that made her chest constrict with that odd sensation. That kind of interaction between them was recent; if someone told Cara months ago that she would be trading witty comments instead of blows with a Confessor she would stick her agiel in the moron's mouth for saying something so stupid. But now it was something that was becoming common and natural to her.
"You're concerned about my diet? That's why you're sharing one of the smallest ones?" Cara asked, a hint of mischief in her tone. "I think you're only sharing because of that misguided politeness of yours, but secretly hopping I don't take any," she continued teasingly with a smirk on her full lips.
"That is not true! I'm just looking out for you Cara," was Kahlan's come back feigning hurt by Cara's accusation. Despite her fake offended look, the smile never left her face, it almost seemed that it shone brighter.
Cara turned in her direction with her hands on her hips and arched her eyebrows looking disbelievingly at Kahlan.
"Alright, maybe I like them a little too much and want to eat them all," Kahlan admitted, watching the smug look on the blonde's face. "But the offer still stands, I don't mind sharing with you," Kahlan offered the blackblackberry to Cara again, laughing at the unconvinced look on the Mord'Sith's face.
Cara looked first at the tiny blackberry posing as a gift on the brunette's fingers, then she looked at the Confessor, and without taking her eyes of Kahlan's she leaned in and took the blackberry from the Mother Confessor's fingers using her teeth and slightly resting her plump lips on Kahlan's fingers.
"I guess blackberries are not that bad," she commented slowly while chewing on the said blackberry, her intense gaze never leaving Kahlan.
Kahlan blinked and felt her cheeks get warmer. Why do I keep feeling this vertigo in my stomach every time she does something like this? She's just being Cara, she can't help herself and doesn't really mean nothing by it. Right? Kahlan cleared her throat discreetly before replying.
"They're very good. How did you know I liked them?" she asked, to dispel the small tension that Cara's seemingly innocent act had created.
Cara noticed the Mother Confessor's flushed cheeks and the way Kahlan's gaze stayed on her lips, but chose not to bring it up.
"Before Zedd started to mistake my name and forget things, when he was going on and on about persimmons being the pinnacle of creation, you said you preferred blackberries," Cara simply said, as if it was something that happened a couple of days ago.
"You remember I mentioned that?" Kahlan was surprised to say the least and it showed on her face, she looked at Cara with wide eyes and an expression of astonishment.
"The fact that I'm telling you this implies that I do remember it," Cara stated matter-of-factly.
"Yes, it does," Kahlan chuckled. "I just never thought you payed any attention to what I say," she said quietly. Most of the time she looks like she's not even hearing half the things I say and then she notices details like these. You don't cease to surprise Cara. Kahlan thought with a private smile.
"You like to talk Kahlan, I have no choice but to listen," Cara responded, trying to lighten the conversation and not make a big deal out of her tendency to commit to memory every single detail about the fascinating woman that was Kahlan Amnel.
"Well, thank you for listening anyway and for these blackberries," Kahlan thanked the blonde with a kind smile gracing her lips.
She understood Cara's hint, the Mord'Sith didn't like to talk about these kind of things, and she didn't like to show she cared. But Kahlan could see it in every gesture, Cara said more through actions them through words, and that somehow made it even more meaningful.
Cara nodded, a hint of a smile on her lips and a warmth in her eyes that was making an appearance once in a while, when they had these conversations, just the two of them.
"Are you girls ready to go?" Richard called to them ending the moment.
Both girls looked back at him and Kahlan nodded, turning to walk back to camp, but not without glancing one more time at Cara with a meaningful smile.