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Comes The Morn by alyse [Reviews - 13]
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Category: Legend of the Seeker
Characters: Kahlan Amnell, Richard Cypher (Rahl)
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Romance, Vignette
Warnings: None

Summary: Commentfic written for the spooning commentfic meme, for the prompt 'Zedd takes the kids, giving Richard and Kahlan some spooning time'.

Pairing: Kahlan/Richard



Story Notes:
Written for this prompt on the spooning commentfic meme, which was for a future fic where Zedd takes the kids, giving Richard and Kahlan some spooning time. Yes, this is a kid fic because as we know, Richard is all about BABIES! (So cute when he is!)


Richard woke suddenly, his heart pounding, disorientated the way that he always was when something dragged him out of a deep sleep. His fingers were already flexing, reaching for his sword, when the source of the sound registered.

Caralyn.

There was a pause, a sudden hitch as she drew in another breath, and then the sound of his daughter's displeasure broke through the air again.

Kahlan twitched beside him, coming awake with a low moan as she started to push herself up, more on a mother's instinct, he thought, than any conscious awareness. He put his hand on her shoulder, a gentle weight that eased her back down onto the mattress again - although he suspected that was more her exhaustion than anything he was doing - and murmured, "It's all right. I'll see to her. Go back to sleep."

He'd have to be quick if he didn't want Kahlan to follow him - she was less able to ignore Caralyn's upset, often waking to tend their daughter before Richard could even register that she'd stirred. The fact that she hadn't today told him just how exhausted she was.

By the time he'd untangled himself from the blankets and staggered into the small chamber off their room that served as Caralyn's nursery, his daughter was sitting up in her cot, her small face creased with misery. When she saw him, the tears started afresh, streaming down her face as she held out her chubby arms to him.

He picked her up, settling her firmly against his bare chest, and she turned her face into his shoulder, letting out little snuffly moans as she buried her fist in her mouth.

Not hungry then but teething, and his hand against her cheek - which felt warm and maybe a little swollen - confirmed it.

"Poor love," he murmured, rocking her gently, and she let out another hitch, a brief sound of agreement before her face twisted up again and she let out another cry.

The door catch clicked behind him and he turned, wondering why Kahlan hadn't simply come through the entrance from their room rather than the hallway. But it wasn't Kahlan - Zedd's face greeted him, mouth open in a huge yawn that had Caralyn pausing for a moment in her tale of woe, her eyes wide with astonishment and her mouth open in an unconscious echo of her great-grandfather's.

"What's all this noise then, dear one?" Zedd asked and Caralyn let out another sob, turning her face back towards Richard as she remembered the misery that had woken her.

"She's teething," Richard said, the words brief but getting the message across. "Go back to sleep, Zedd. I've got her."

Zedd eyed him shrewdly as he rocked his daughter, his cheek pressed against the soft down of her hair. Kahlan would sing to her, her voice rising and falling in a beautiful cadence that made Richard's heart ache but Richard had no such talent. Instead he hummed to Caralyn, a soft, meaningless mumble of sounds intended to soothe. It wasn't entirely successful but Caralyn's cries were at least quieter now, her face twisting against Richard's skin.

"Kahlan sleeping?" Zedd asked and Richard nodded briefly, still focused on soothing Caralyn. "It looks like she's not the only one who needs it." Zedd reached down into Caralyn's cot, rooting around in the jumbled up covers until he pulled out the soft leather ring that Cara had handed to Caralyn one day, her eyes just daring Richard to say something. He hadn't - even with heavy eyes and a head weighed down with lack of sleep, he knew when he was fighting a losing battle. At least it hadn't been an agiel.

"Here, dear one," Zedd murmured, his fingers waving over the leather. The air cooled around them and when he handed the ring to Caralyn, the last vestiges of frost were evaporating from it. "This will help soothe it."

She reached for it, her weight shifting in Richard's arms and his reactions were slow, forcing him to compensate. When she took it, she shoved it straight into her mouth where everything went these days. Her small jaw worked as she mouthed at it and Richard stroked one finger down her cheek, overcome by a wave of love for this small, demanding being in his arms.

"There," said Zedd and there was no missing the satisfaction in his voice. "All we have to do is make sure that everything she chews is cooled and that will help ease her pain."

Perhaps it was the lack of sleep or maybe seeing Zedd soothe his daughter when he could not that had Richard snapping, "She often has her foot shoved in there. Would you like to freeze that, too?"

He regretted the words as soon as they were out of his mouth. Zedd's eyebrow raised but before Richard could apologise his grandfather's face softened. "I think I'm right about Kahlan not being the only one who needs sleep, my boy," he said, his hands already reaching for Caralyn. "Why don't you come with me, dear one, and we'll let your father and mother get some much needed rest?"

"Zedd..." Richard let go of Caralyn reluctantly, still searching for the right words to apologise. His addled brain wouldn't come up with any but Zedd smiled anyway, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

"Go back to bed, Richard," he said, settling Caralyn's weight more firmly in his arms. "We will be fine, won't we, my dear?" Caralyn didn't answer, her small fingers wrapped firmly around the toy she still mouthed. "Especially as you seem considerably less cranky now than your father."

Richard smiled, taking the rebuke in the same loving way that it had been tendered. "Thank you," he said, the words heartfelt, and Zedd simply waved his fingers absently, his attention seemingly fixed on his great-granddaughter as he headed out of the door.

"And if you're very lucky, young lady," Zedd's parting words were too loud to be for Caralyn alone, "perhaps your parents might summon up a sibling for you, as well."

Richard huffed out a laugh before running his hands through his hair and heading back to bed - and Kahlan.

She was still asleep, curled up where he'd left her, the covers rising and falling with each even breath. Spirits, she was beautiful, even when there were dark rings under her eyes and tiredness dragged her down.

He'd been gone long enough for the bed to have cooled where he'd been lying and it was instinct to move closer to Kahlan and feel her warmth. Instinct and the fact that her presence in his life - her nearness - was as essential to him as the air he breathed. Her body fit against his perfectly and always had: his knees behind hers; her hips slotting neatly into his lap; his face buried in the soft, elegant curve of her neck.

She stirred as he breathed her in, relaxing against him and murmuring sleepily, the sounds soft and indistinct. He thought her asleep until she turned her head, her hair brushing over Richard's skin, and opened her eyes to look at him. Her gaze was warm, her eyes still dark with sleep.

"Caralyn?" she asked and he reached up with one careful hand to brush the hair out of her eyes, letting his fingers linger, tracing over the delicate hollow of her temple.

"Zedd has her," he whispered and then leant in to press a kiss against the soft skin of her brow. She let out a sleepy sigh, already sinking back into slumber. The fabric of her nightdress had slipped, exposing the smooth curve of one shoulder and he lowered his face, pressing his mouth against her skin. The sound she let out this time was happy, content, and he pulled her closer, breathing in the scent of her, all sleepy and warm. This was happiness, all he'd ever wanted and more. He kissed each freckle, letting the very tip of his tongue trace a pattern between them and feeling the need for her settling in his belly. "He thinks we should be working on a sister for Caralyn."

She turned towards him, her expression still sleepy but there was regret there, too, a wistfulness in the depths of her brilliant eyes. "Richard..."

He kissed her, stopping the words in her mouth and swallowing down the soft sigh she let out as her body pressed back against his. If he kissed her again, traced the outline of her mouth with his tongue, he knew that she would open up for him, let him in. He could ease her dress down over her curves, slide into the heat of her body and lose himself for a while. Maybe Zedd would even be right and Caralyn would have a sister, another daughter to be as much the centre of their lives as the first.

Instead he pulled back, pressing his forehead against hers and listening to the soft sound of her breathing. "But sleep sounds good," he whispered, feeling her body relaxing against him as she sought his warmth much as he had hers. "Do you mind?"

Her eyes were soft when he opened his, soft and full of the love she felt for him. "No," she murmured, barely on the cusp of hearing. He settled behind her and she reached for his wrist, tugging at his arm until it was curled around her and she could lean down and press a kiss against his palm. "I don't mind." He pulled her back against him, placing his hand on the soft curve of her belly where she'd carried their daughter safely. "I love you," she sighed as she sank back down into the welcoming embrace of their bed, already slipping back into sleep. "Stay?"

Always.

He closed his eyes and - as always - followed her.






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