thegirl20: (cara: feelings)
[personal profile] thegirl20
TITLE: Courage is poorly housed that dwells in numbers
AUTHOR: [livejournal.com profile] the_girl_20
FANDOM: Legend of the Seeker & Game of Thrones
PAIRING: Cara Lannister/Kahlan Snow
SUMMARY: The lady of the North comes South...
RATING: R
WORD COUNT: ~6400
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em.
WARNING: Incest. Implied twincest.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: AU set in the Game of Thrones universe. Okay, this is slightly complicated. I wrote this fic Of all sentiments, the most abstract and then wrote a prequel The softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon. This is an extension of the first and a sequel to the second. I know that makes no sense, but try to go with it.



The journey south had been long. The snow storms and biting cold of the north had seemed interminable, though Cara found that when they started to give way to the temperate climes of the Neck, her mood did not warm along with the weather. She was all too aware that it was not the ice and chill she longed for; but as the sun shone on her face, she was reminded of the woman she left behind in the unwelcoming north. And, for the first time in her life, Cara Lannister missed someone.

She was dirty and weary from the road and in need of a hot bath and a soft bed. But she knew that she could not have either without first seeing her sister. She swept into the dining hall without waiting for her arrival to be announced. All eyes were on her as she entered, but she was accustomed to such treatment. She was not what one would term a ‘normal’ woman; clad in her scarlet leather breeches and surcoat, her cloak adorned with the golden lion of her house.

When Myrcella and Tommen’s eyes landed upon her, their faces lit up with surprise and joy and Cara could not hide her smile. Tommen was up and running at her. She caught him and lifted him with a slight groan; he was bigger than when she last saw him. Myrcella also rose, but looked to her mother for permission. It was granted with the slightest of nods and she too ran at Cara, wrapping her arms around her and squeezing her tightly. Cara held them both close, looking over Tommen’s shoulder at Cersei, who hadn’t moved.

She kissed the top of Myrcella’s head and let Tommen stand back on his feet, shifting her attention to her sister. Cara bent in a deep bow.

“Your Grace.” She lifted her head and offered Cersei a smirk. Cersei shook her head, but the side of her mouth turned up.

“Sister,” she said in greeting. “Must you always turn up looking like some lowborn ragamuffin?”

Many people enjoy my appearance, Your Grace.” The emphasis on the ‘many’ had Cersei’s jaw clenching, though her face remained impassive.

“Aunt Cara, did you bring us presents?” Tommen asked, tugging at her sleeve. “Joff is the King now.”

Cara did not blink at the rapid change of subject. Her nephew had a concentration span similar to that of his uncle Jaime.

“So I heard,” she said, ruffling his hair, her eyes still on her sister. “Where is His Grace?”

“He’s off with his lady Sansa,” Myrcella said, gazing up at Cara in adoration. “We hardly ever see him.”

“A great pity,” Cara sighed. “I should have liked to pledge my allegiance to our new King.”

“There will be plenty of time for that,” Cersei announced. “Children, leave your aunt in peace, she will see you on the morrow.”

Tommen looked like he might protest, but they both knew better than to argue with their mother. Casting mournful glances at Cara, they headed off with their Septa. Cara lifted her hand to give them a wave, watching until they have left the room. She turned back to her sister, still seated at the table. Cersei’s eyes were trained on her own.

“Leave us.”

The command was quiet, but every person in the room obeyed it immediately, scrambling not to be last out of the door. The sisters were left alone in the cavernous feasting hall. Cersei finally deigned to rise and walk around the table to approach her younger sister, appraising her. She reached out, cupping Cara’s cheek and rubbing with her thumb at a smudge of dust below her eye; a motherly gesture. A lioness and her cub.

“You were gone longer than usual.”

Cara had always been an adventurer. She sought out experiences, just to see how they felt; new tastes, new textures, new smells. Her Lord Father indulged her thirst for faraway lands by financing her expeditions; as he indulged her almost anything she asked for.

Joanna Lannister had died giving birth to Cara. She knew the story well, having heard it from many people. That Tywin had cursed and raged against the Gods for taking his wife from him. For two days and two nights , he had refused to look on the creature that had caused her death. It was Jaime who finally carried the sleeping babe to the fireside where his father sat, with his head in his hands. He placed the bundle on Tywin’s knee and waited. And when Tywin looked at his daughter, her eyes opened and were the same green as his wife’s had been, her tiny mouth had the same curve to the lips and her nose was the same noble shape. So much of Joanna was in this precious child that he could deny her his attention no longer and he lifted her to his chest, cradling her there while she gazed up at him with wise eyes.

As she grew, Cara was spoiled. Her brother and sister were fiercely protective of her, as was her lord father. She was allowed freedoms that were not afforded to her siblings. More than once, Lord Tywin’s castellan had been heard bemoaning the fact that Cara was born a girl; she would have made an excellent knight. But Lord Tywin would not hear of it; his Cara was exactly as she should be.

Cara shrugged at her sister’s seemingly casual observation.

“I was...distracted.” The flash of jealousy in those green eyes, so similar to her own, was unmistakable. “I came when I heard about Robert. I’m...”

“Do not offer me your condolences,” Cersei’s hand dropped away from her face. “I do not wish to receive them any more than you wish to give them.”

Cara acknowledged the truth in the statement with silence. Cersei stepped away and turned so that her back was to Cara.

“Who was it this time? A whore? Another blacksmith?”

Cara hesitated; she had never been able to lie to Cersei, even when they were children. She could have Jaime believing that the sky was green and the sea was red, but Cersei could always see right through her. She wondered if that was what had drawn her to her latest ‘distraction’ who had the same annoying habit of knowing exactly what Cara was thinking. She cleared her throat.

“A highborn woman,” she said, finally. “Of the North. Terribly beautiful.”

She left it at that. It was only half a lie and there was little point in mentioning names. Cersei would not lower herself to ask for one, and it would save a great deal of heartache on both their parts if she never found out. Cara knew in her head that it could never be. Her heart was another matter, one which she would deal with in the fullness of time. But for now images of long dark tresses, soft curves and eyes of blue ice plagued her dreams. And she couldn’t say, in truth, that she wished to be free of them.

Her sister turned back to face her. “Well, at least your tastes are changing to better befit your station.”

Cara shook her head with a smile. “My taste is exquisite.” She took the step that separated her from her sister. “As well you know.” Her hand slid along Cersei’s hip, to the small of her back, pulling her in so that their faces were touching. She rubbed her nose against Cersei’s cheek, nuzzling her, seeking permission. She felt her sister’s body acquiesce even before their lips met.

Cara had always known that Jaime and Cersei loved each other differently from how they loved other people. Two halves of a whole, Cersei had explained it as. She knew they were lovers before she was old enough to understand what it meant. They loved her too, as she loved them. They introduced her to sex; to pleasure. And Cara took to it quickly. Jaime and Cersei taught her, groomed her, loved her. But she was never one of them; the whole was not split into three. She still joined them occasionally, both separately and together. But she knew her place.

The Lionesses of Lannister had always been explosive; from their arguments to their excitements. Their lovemaking was no different. They pushed and challenged and dominated and fought until they lay on the banqueting table, mewling and spent, curled around each other like kittens. Cara turned onto her back, pulling Cersei against her chest.

“You need a bath,” Cersei complained, her nose wrinkling in distaste.

“Mmmm.” Cara hummed in agreement, her eyes still closed. Teeth closed around her breast and she hissed at the unexpected pain. She looked down to see Cersei inspecting the mark she’d left, blood oozing from a few of the indentations. She leaned down and swiped her tongue over the mark in a way that made Cara’s heart beat faster. Then they were kissing again, the taste of blood in Cersei’s mouth wrenched a moan from Cara’s throat. Cersei pulled back enough to look into Cara’s eyes.

“Blood is blood, Cara,” she whispered. “Everything else is meaningless.”

Cara found herself thinking back to cold nights huddled under wolfskin. To kisses that weren’t a competition. To whispered loyalties that had nothing to do with last names.

Cersei was right. Blood is blood. So she nodded and received a genuine smile in response. Cara loved to see Cersei smile; it happened so infrequently. She cupped her cheek and brought her in for another kiss, ignoring the part of her that felt disloyal to another. The only loyalty was to family. ‘Hear me roar’. The words refused to stir her as they once did, so she kissed Cersei harder, needing something to cling to if she was to forget about that other time and place.

As always, Cersei decided when they were done. She pushed Cara away, rolling to the side. Her face slipped back into that perfect blend of boredom and disdain that she had cultivated for many a year. Cara let her head drop down onto the hard surface of the table with a sigh, not bothering to cover her nakedness.

“Go and bathe. And get some sleep,” the Queen told her, for it was she and not her sister who spoke. “I shall send word to Jaime of your return and we shall arrange a feast to celebrate.”

“As you wish, Your Grace,” Cara offered.

Cersei dressed in silence. She started to leave, but paused, looking down at Cara for a moment. She brought a hand back to her face, stroking gently, motherly again.

“Your place is here,” she said. “With us. It pleases me that you’re back.”

“And I, sister,” she replied, before she could stop the lie.

Cersei’s face hardened again and she withdrew her hand from Cara’s face. Cara fought not to fidget under her scrutiny. Finally she spoke.

“You would do well to forget your highborn woman, Cara.” Her voice was low and dangerous and Cara wondered if it was the voice that she had used to bring about the death of Robert. “She cannot give you what I can. No-one can give you what I can. No-one ever will.”

Then she was gone and Cara was left alone to ponder her words. And worry that they were true.

---



It transpired that Joffrey’s reign consisted mainly of executions and tournaments. Cara liked a good tourney as well as the next person, but even she was growing bored of the continual requirement to stand on a dais behind her sister and cheer as people she’d never heard of tried to ram pointed sticks into one another. At least Jaime had decided to compete in the current one; claiming that the knights needed a decent opponent once in a while.

Thoughts of her brother’s prowess were forgotten when her eyes landed on an unmistakeable figure in the crowd. Even with a hood covering most of her face, there was no question. Those glacial eyes were in stark contrast to the heat and grime of the south. Cara’s heart thumped uncomfortably in her chest, so much so she was sure Cersei would hear it from her place on the throne, only a few steps away.

Kahlan’s eyes met her own and Cara could almost feel the bite of frost on her cheeks. She smiled and received one in return. The fluttering in her stomach made her roll her eyes at herself. She was hardly a maiden in the first flushes of youth. But that was how she felt with Kahlan. She shifted from foot to foot, even more anxious for the blasted tournament to be over. Cersei looked over, raising an eyebrow and Cara settled down. There was no way she could leave the dais without drawing unwanted attention. She would have to wait. And patience was not one of Cara’s virtues.

The tournament eventually ended, with Jaime victorious. Cara tilted her head to the right, hoping that Kahlan would understand. She allowed herself a small smile when Kahlan nodded. The northern woman started to make her way through the crowd in the direction Cara had indicated. Cara turned to where her sister was now standing, ready to follow Joffrey from the dais.

“If it pleases Your Grace, I...feel the need for some air before eating,” she said, offering what she hoped was an easy smile.

Cersei lifted her head, green eyes appraising. She was about to respond, no doubt that it did not please her in the slightest, when Jaime appeared at her shoulder. He was fresh from his win, hair stuck to his forehead with sweat, a slight bruise starting to form on his cheek.

“Let her be, Cersei,” he said, with a wink at Cara. “She’ll join us later, I’m sure.”

A rush of love for her brother filled her chest. He had long been the one to calm any situation that threatened to get out of hand between herself and Cersei. He knew that Cara was her own person and that, on occasion, she needed freedom. Cara adored him for it. She stretched up on her toes to kiss his cheek. The tang of his sweat on her lips was not unfamiliar and she licked them, arousal settling itself in her groin unbidden. Cersei looked between them and Cara didn’t give her the opportunity to reply, pressing a chaste kiss against her lips, leaving the taste of Jaime behind and hoping it will be enough to distract her sister.

“I’ll be there before the first course is served,” she promised over her shoulder as she walked away.

“See that you are,” Cersei called, her brow creased in thought as she watched her go.

Cara found Kahlan easily in the crowd. She walked past her, not even glancing in her direction, and kept up a brisk pace. She knew that Kahlan would be following her. An abrupt turn took her into an empty stable and she waited. Kahlan joined her a moment later.

All intended reprimands for disobeying her instruction to stay in Winterfell were stolen from her tongue when Kahlan lowered her hood. Without a single word, she took Kahlan into her arms and kissed her, tasting ice and danger. Cara pulled away, her hands framing Kahlan’s face, thumbs stroking the skin.

“You shouldn’t have come here.” She was aware that her actions were saying the opposite.

“I had to.” Kahlan’s voice quivered, and her eyes were brimming, but her smile was bright. “I can’t be without you.”

“Kahlan...” Whatever Cara had been going to say was lost in the depths of Kahlan’s mouth as she allowed herself to be pulled into another kiss. Mustering willpower from somewhere she didn’t know existed, she pushed Kahlan back. “We can’t do this here. I told you...my sister....”

“I couldn’t give a damn about your sister, I’m here for you...for us.”

Cara closed her eyes, realising that Kahlan would have missed the news about Lord Stark on her travels.

“Your father has been taken prisoner,” she said, still holding Kahlan close. She watched Kahlan’s eyes cloud with confusion.

“My father. Prisoner? On what charge?”

Cara drew in a breath. “Treason.”

“No.” Kahlan’s response was immediate. “No. My father is not a traitor...he loved Robert. He was like a brother to him. He couldn’t...”

“Not Robert. Joffrey.” Cara wanted nothing more than to kiss away the sadness that had descended over Kahlan. “He claims that my nephew is not the true heir to the throne.”

Kahlan studied her for a moment, before her expression changed to that infuriating one that said she knew more than she should. Kahlan shook her head.
“And you believe him.” She wasn’t asking a question.

Cara’s jaw clenched.

“I do nothing of the sort,” she said, averting her eyes from Kahlan’s penetrating gaze. “And you would do well not to believe him either.” Cara lifted Kahlan’s hood back over her head. “You need to leave. You need to get far away...it’s not safe to be a Stark around here at the moment.”

Kahlan pushed the hood back down. “I’m not a Stark. I’m a Snow. And I...” She trailed off, her eyes widening in panic. “My sisters...what of my sisters? Are they...”

“They are safe,” Cara assured her. “Well, Sansa is safe. She is still betrothed to the King. Arya...hasn’t been seen since Lord Stark was taken.”

“She’s so little and skinny.” Kahlan’s hand covered her mouth and she was fighting tears. “Cara, I have to find her...And my father, when is he to be tried?”

Cara almost laughed at Kahlan’s naïveté. There would be no trial. Ned Stark was guilty and would be punished. That was the way of things in King’s Landing. The last thing Cara needed was Kahlan demanding to see her father.

“Kahlan, do not make it known that you are here,” she warned. “Where do you plan to stay?”

“I have lodgings at a tavern at the edge of the city...” Kahlan said. “But I...”

“Then go there.” The tone of her voice softened the command somewhat. “Stay there. Do not try to see your father or find your sister. I’ll come to you tonight.”

For the first time since Ned Stark had been mentioned, Kahlan smiled. It was weak, but it was a smile.

“As you wish.” Kahlan bit her lip. “But...hold me for a moment before I go. Let me remember what it feels like to be in your arms.”

Cara pulled Kahlan against her, holding her tightly and squeezing her eyes shut against the burn of tears.

---

She slipped into the feast, taking her seat beside Myrcella. Despite her promise, she had missed the first course, and the second, choosing instead to spend a few more minutes with Kahlan. Cersei’s glare was heavy and Cara pointedly ignored it, reaching to tweak Tommen’s nose across the table, making him giggle. She grinned as he brought his hand up to make sure it was still on his face.

“We missed you while you were away, Aunt Cara.” Myrcella’s quiet admission pulled at something in Cara’s chest. That same pull that always brought her back. She schooled her features into a smile and turned to look at her niece.

“And I missed you, little Princess.” She cupped her cheek. “I missed you very much.” She winked at Tommen. “Both of you.”

“Then why did you stay away so long?” Tommen asked, his eyes large and sad. “Mother said you were coming when we were in the North, but you didn’t. Why didn’t you come?”

“The wind wouldn’t blow in the right direction, I’m afraid.”

Cara was struck by a thought. If she had met with favourable winds while trying to reach Winterfell, would she have encountered Kahlan Snow at all? A fleeting moment passed in which she wondered if perhaps that would have been for the best. Just as quickly it was replaced by the steadfast assuredness that she would rather have had Kahlan for the blink of an eye than never to have met her.

“Did you like it in the North?” Myrcella asked, interrupting her thoughts. “We thought it was terribly cold, didn’t we, Tommen?”

Tommen shivered violently and Cara laughed.

“It was horrible. And the boys there kept hitting me with sticks and making me fall over. I didn’t like it at all.” He lifted his head to look at her. “Did they hit you with sticks while you were there?”

“Aunt Cara wouldn’t fall over if someone hit her with a stick!” Myrcella protested.

“I did fall down in the yard at Winterfell,” Cara admitted with a soft smile, eliciting gasps from both children. “That had more to do with ale than with sticks.”

“Cara.” Cersei’s voice cut through the conversation like Valyrian steel and all three heads snapped towards her. “The children don’t need to hear tales of your drinking.”

“It’s a cautionary tale I assure you, sister.” Cara raised an eyebrow and turned back to her wide-eyed audience of two. “I fell down and awoke with the hot breath of a great white direwolf on my neck, mere inches from my jugular!”

“Were you scared?” Tommen whispered.

“Of course she wasn’t!” Myrcella placed her small hand over Cara’s own. “You weren’t scared, were you Aunt Cara?”

“I had no time to be scared. I was rescued by a fair maiden who called off the beast and saw me safely to my chamber.”

Myrcella frowned. “In the tales, it’s usually a prince who rescues a lady.”

“Well, sometimes maidens rescue ladies.” Again, Cara could feel Cersei’s oppressive gaze on her. “And sometimes ladies rescue maidens from their evil stepmothers.”

“And sometimes kings fight dragons!” Tommen exclaimed. “Do you think Joff could fight a dragon?”

Cara glanced up the table to where the King was lounging in his seat, his lady beside him looking as comfortable as a dove in a roomful of lions should look. Cara licked her lips and pretended to think.

“Hmmm, well…I should say he could fight a dragon.” She met Cersei’s eyes across the table. “Whether he would win is another question altogether.”

Cersei shook her head in disgust and stood, meaning all of the occupants of the room had to do likewise.

“Children, it is past time for your bed. Come with me.”

Reluctantly, Tommen and Myrcella rose, each kissing their Aunt goodnight, followed by their Uncle Jaime, who had sauntered over to stand by Cara. He watched Cersei and the children leave the dining hall, meaning that rest of the room could take their seats once again. Jaime tipped his head back, finishing off the ale in his tankard. He bumped Cara’s shoulder with his own.

“Why must you anger her on purpose?” His voice held no reproach, only curiousity.

Shrugging, Cara finished off her own ale and wiped her mouth with her hand. “It entertains me. Little else does around here.”

“Trust me, little sister, you don’t want to draw her attention to your Northern woman any more than you have done. She’s got her feelers out.”

A tendril of fear crept down Cara’s neck. “Oh?”

“You know how our dear sister is.” Jaime’s usual easy smile was in place, but his eyes were serious. “Don’t give her reason to pursue this.”

She leaned over to kiss his cheek, her lips lingering by his ear as she whispered. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, brother.” She stood up and fixed him with a look of innocence before turning and walking away. His voice followed her.

“Don’t play her at this game unless you’re prepared to lose, Cara.”

She waved a hand in the air without turning back. “I don’t intend to lose.”

But what would constitute ‘losing’? The loss of Kahlan? The loss of her family? Her name? Some kind of loss seemed inevitable. Cara knew that she to decide which loss would cut the deepest. She feared that she already knew the answer.

---

Under cover of darkness, Cara strode purposefully through the near deserted city streets. A dark, plain cloak covered her hair and clothing. No-one paid her any heed, though she wasn’t naïve enough to believe that she wasn’t being watched. She made several wrong turns before slipping into a tavern that also served as lodgings. Without speaking to anyone, she immediately headed up the stairs, following the instructions Kahlan had given her. Soon she found herself standing in front of the door of Kahlan’s room. She lifted her fist to knock on the wood; it was shaking.

When the door opened, the sight before her took the breath from Cara’s body. She had not been able to see Kahlan properly under her cloak earlier in the day. Kahlan had forgone her usual attire in favour of more sturdy travelling clothes. The darker colours only served to accentuate the milkiness of Kahlan’s skin. And the leather corset showed off her figure to an astounding degree. Cara knew she was staring, but allowed herself another moment of indulgence before bringing her eyes up to meet Kahlan’s amused ones.

“You’re not terribly subtle, Lady Lannister.”

Cara smiled. “You’re terribly beautiful, Lady Snow.”

Kahlan blushed and took her hand, pulling her into the cramped quarters, locking the door once she was inside. Before either of them had a chance to think, their bodies reacted and they came together in a bruising kiss. Kahlan’s hands came up to frame Cara’s face, pushing her back gently. Blue eyes brimmed with tears.

“I am alive again.” Kahlan’s words were whispered through a tight throat, but the truth in them was startling. Once again, Cara felt like Kahlan could see into her soul and read what was written there. A sob welled up in her chest and she pulled Kahlan into another kiss to cover it up. Kahlan fogged up her mind. She had come here with clear intentions and now she could barely remember her name. But she had to be strong.

This time, it was Cara who pulled away, wiping at the tears that had run down Kahlan’s cheeks. She bit her lip.

“I...I came here to...” The words wouldn’t come easily, but Kahlan obviously sensed the change in her. She stepped away from Cara, out of her arms.

“To what?”

“To tell you that...” Kahlan’s fingers covered her lips before she could complete her thought.

“Don’t.” The single word was imbued with so many feelings Cara had to close her eyes before she could continue, speaking through Kahlan’s fingers.

“We can’t do this, Kahlan. Not here. Perhaps not anywhere.”

The hand at her mouth was drawn away as if her words had burned it. When she opened her eyes, Kahlan’s were no longer tear-filled. They were furious.

“So, are you going to tell me you don’t want this? That you don’t want me?” Kahlan demanded, her arms wrapped around herself.

“I...”

“Don’t lie to me,” Kahlan spat. “I know you feel something. That you need this as much as I do.”

Cara threw her arms up in exasperation. “Can’t you see that this cannot be? My nephew is the King. My sister is the Queen. And believe me when I say to you that she would not stand for me bringing home a ba-“

Cara’s eyes went wide and she closed her mouth, pressing her lips together. She had never used that word to describe Kahlan. Not once. And to see the impact it had on the other woman, she knew why.

Though her chin quivered, Kahlan kept her composure. “Say it.”

Cara reached out to touch the other woman’s arm, but was brushed off. “Kahlan, I di-“

“Say it. Call me a bastard. It’s what I am. I’ve been called worse. I just...” Kahlan turned away, her hand coming to play with the necklace she wore. “I’d hoped that you didn’t think of me as only that.” She turned back to Cara, eyes defiant. “But call me a bastard and be done with it. A baseborn bastard that would shame you in front of your family.”

Cara covered her face with both of her hands and sighed; the need to be honest suddenly weighing heavy on her.

“If I could,” she began, her voice quiet. “I would make you my wife and sail around the Seven Kingdoms so that everyone might know exactly how fortunate I was to have such a woman as you to love me.”

They were the truest words she’d ever spoken, but when she let her hands drop, all she was met with was a sneer.

“Pretty words, Cara. When in reality they merely serve to obscure the fact that you’ve made me your whore.”

Cara laughed, but it was cold. “Would that you were but a whore. I’ve been with whores and I don’t go to sleep dreaming of them and wake up thinking of them.”

Kahlan shook her head and closed her eyes. “That mouth of yours...it’s dripping with honey. But it’s poisoned.”

“How dare you.” Cara was angry now. She strode over to Kahlan and yanked her arm so that they were facing each other. “How dare you come here and say such things. I told you to stay in the North. I told you to stay safe. But you presume to know better and you come here, expecting me to stand with you against my family.”

“I expected you to stand up for what is right!” Kahlan advanced on her, forcing Cara to take a step backwards. “I expected you to have some honour...the Cara I know does. The Cara I know would not want a good, honest man to be put to death for...”

“For accusing the Queen of incest, adultery, murder...” Cara countered.

“Can you stand there and attest to her innocence of any of those crimes?” The question took Cara by surprise, and when she realised that she couldn’t argue she surged forward, her chest pushing against Kahlan’s. She flung her arm out to point at the door.

“Go. Get out of my sight. Go back to the North and stay there. Because if my sister hears tell of Ned Stark’s bastard causing trouble for her precious son, believe me, you will not be afforded the luxury of a dungeon.”

It sounded like a threat, but was meant as a warning. An honest warning that Cara meant to make Kahlan understand one way or another. And if it took an angry parting to keep Kahlan safe, so be it.

“Were they all lies, then?” Kahlan asked, her lip trembling. “The tenderness...the soft words...were they only to get into my smallclothes?”

“You’re the one who can see into my soul, Lady Snow,” Cara sneered. “You tell me.”

Kahlan paused, looking into Cara’s eyes and Cara faltered. Her throat worked and her lip quivered. She cursed herself as tears gathered at the corner of her eyes. Kahlan immediately softened. She moved forward to take Cara into an embrace that the Lannister in her wanted to shrug off, but the woman in her sank into gratefully.

“I know what you’re doing, Cara,” Kahlan whispered. “I know you’re trying to protect me and I appreciate your efforts, but I’m not a child to be cosseted and shielded. You told me once before that I’m a woman grown. And I am. I make my own choices and my choice is to be with you.”

Cara lifted her head from Kahlan’s shoulder, looking up into those blue eyes that were her undoing.

“I have no choices,” she whispered, realising the truth in her own words for perhaps the first time. “I am shackled to my House...I...there are expectations of me.”

“But already you shun them,” Kahlan pressed, her hand running down Cara’s leather clad thigh for emphasis. “You dress as you please, you go where you please, you think as you please. How is it any different to love as you please?”

“I am not free to love as I please, any more than my sister was, any more than your brother Robb will marry for love...when there is title and fortune involved, love is of no consequence.”

“Then make it of consequence.” Kahlan’s voice was as close to shrill as Cara had heard it. “You’ve spoken of your father’s love for you...surely if you go to him and speak with him...”

“Kahlan...” But Kahlan cut her off, hands going to either side of her face.

“You’re not his heir, nor his eldest daughter, you would not carry on his name...” Such hope bloomed on Kahlan’s face that Cara was loathe to quash it. “He would not deny you happiness...would he?”

Cara’s eyes shifted as she considered this. Her father loved her; of that she was assured. But his pride and his reputation would not allow him to consent to his daughter living with a bastard of a traitor. Her chin fell to her chest.

“There is no way for us to be, Kahlan,” she whispered, defeated.

“Yes there is,” Kahlan said, grasping Cara’s chin and bringing it up so that their eyes met. Kahlan’s burned with icy fire. “We just haven’t thought of it yet.”

Cara could do nothing but laugh sadly and kiss Kahlan and try to believe her.

---

Cersei was taking longer than usual to finish, Cara thought as she lapped at her sister. Cersei had summoned her to her chamber and, when she arrived, they were alone. It didn’t take long for Cara to end up between Cersei’s legs. She knew she was particularly skilled at this activity; having honed her learning with dozens of women. She was better than Jaime, who, to Cara’s knowledge, had never touched a woman other than his sisters. Cara was thinking about how to loosen up the tightness in her jaw when her hair was grabbed and yanked up so that she was looking at Cersei.

“Your gall amazes me, Cara.” Cersei was clearly displeased and Cara brought a hand up to swipe across her mouth. “How is it that you can lie there without a care in the world, when you’ve been cavorting around with the Stark bastard for the Gods only know how long behind my back?”

Cara was struck dumb. They had been careful, so careful. After that first night, they had seen each other only twice. Each time Cara had taken a different and very convoluted route to Kahlan’s lodgings. But her sister had eyes everywhere. She knew that. She had allowed the pleasure of being with Kahlan to blind her to reality and now Kahlan would most likely pay the price for her stupidity. Cara’s mind was racing. Cersei couldn’t know much beyond the fact that Cara had visited Kahlan a few times, never staying long. She let her face fall into a semblance of nonchalance.

“What can I say, sister? I bedded her at Winterfell and the poor girl became infatuated with me and followed me here. She’s a pretty face, nothing more.”

“Exceptionally beautiful,” Cersei said, watching Cara closely. “Or so I’m told.”

Cara swallowed, but forced a lascivious smile onto her face.

“You know me, Cersei. I like my girls pretty.”

Cersei let go of her hair with a frustrated huff. She drew her legs up and swung them over the side of the bed, pulling a robe around herself. She turned her blazing eyes on her sister.

“Don’t do this, Cara. Don’t insult me by lying. You have been conducting an illicit affair with the Stark bastard and concealing it from me.”

“I...” Cersei would not come to her with this without proof; there was little point in arguing. “I have. But it is ended. For the good of our family and of the realm.”

Cersei lifted her chin, looking down her nose at Cara. “Good, then it will be less painful for you when she is arrested and executed along with her traitorous father.”

“No!” Cara’s cry filled the room with echoing anguish. Cersei shook her head in disgust.

“You would shed tears for this bastard girl, while she and her father threaten everything we hold dear?”

Cara bit her lip. This was delicate and a wrong move would sign Kahlan’s death warrant surer than any supposed ‘treason’ she had committed. But desperation threatened to make her sloppy. She got off the bed, heedless of her nudity.

“Your Grace, what crime has she committed? Being a bastard child is hardly an offence. The people will not support wanton slaughter.”

“The people are imbeciles and will support whatever we tell them is right,” Cersei spat. “But if you must have a reason, she was plotting to break her father out of the cells and take him back to the North. Bastards are known for their treacherous nature so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise for you. What could be more poetic than her head displayed alongside Ned Stark’s?” Cersei smirked. “Evidence of his lack of honour displayed for all to see.”

“His bastard on a pike while yours sits on a throne?”

She expected the slap, but it stung all the same. Blood from a split in her lip began to trickle down her chin, but she made no move to clean it.

“Never, ever, use that vile word to describe my son again.” Cersei raged. “He is pure and good.”

“Oh, he’s pure, I’ll give you that.” Cara couldn’t stop. “Pure Lannister, which invalidates his claim to the throne. Which invalidates the charge of treason against Ned Stark. One cannot betray a king who is not really a king.”

Cersei didn’t respond immediately, which was not a good sign. She walked around Cara, looking at her from every angle.

“Think very carefully before you choose this path, Cara. There is no way back from it. And our lord father would be most distressed if you were to have a tragic riding accident one day.”

Cara paused.

“You wouldn’t...”

“Oh, I would,” Cersei said. Her face softened and she approached Cara, brushing her thumb over her damaged lip. “Make no mistake, Cara, I love you. But I will not have you interfering with my son’s life for some harlot.”

Cersei leaned in to kiss her. Cara turned her head to the side to avoid it. Cersei laughed, but it was lacking in any warmth or humour.

“The choice is yours, sister. Your family, or a bastard girl from the North. Choose wisely.”

And with those words, Cersei swept away into her ante-chamber, leaving Cara naked and alone.

Date: 2012-04-03 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chickinwhite.livejournal.com
This is quite awesome!
When I read the last part, when Cara met Kahlan in the North, I had no ideas about GoT, but now I´ve watched the first season - and I feel totally drawn into their reality.
You have an awesome grip on the characters and, I don´t know if you´re aware of it, you totally meet that specific aura, the language, the words between the lines, these intrigues...distrust and betraying lurking in every corner of the story. And it´s great to follow Cara and Kahlan in this AU...
I would very much appreciate to see where you´re taking them...

Date: 2012-04-07 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I was really surprised when people read the last part without having seen GoT - but you're not alone in that! I'm glad that it still works for you now that you've seen the source material.

I do have a third part planned out, but I have no idea when I'll finish it.

Thank you :)

Date: 2012-04-03 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kennedyismyhero.livejournal.com
This may be one of the most convoluted universes, but I'm hooked. When this post popped up on my flist, I nearly double-fist pumped, but then again I may be a wee</> bit starved for good fic, and I knew yours would deliver. As always, I loved this and look forward to whatever you have in mind for this universe.

Date: 2012-04-07 12:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Awww, your comment is really flattering, thank you ;)

I enjoy playing in this universe. It's a fun place and I love getting to play with the characters.

Thanks for reading :)

Date: 2012-04-03 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cara-cersei.livejournal.com
This is brilliant! I love GoT and LotS and you've combine them fantastically. I love the struggle cara has between her family and Kahlan, it's beautifully written. Well done!

Date: 2012-04-07 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
It's weird, because normally I'd never even attempt a crossover, especially one involving a hugely epic world like the GoT-verse. But it just seemed like Cara and Kahlan fit without too much effort, and it's fun :)

I'm glad you're enjoying reading.

Date: 2012-04-03 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mm-burnttoast.livejournal.com
Ahh, I freaking loved this. And my goodness, I know I'm supposed to hate Cersei, but I totally don't. She's dark and cruel and I freaking love it. Also, that scene between Kahlan and Cara.. My gosh, RIGHT IN THE FEELINGS! I feel so, so bad for both of them.

And what are they gonna do? Kahlan and Cara should run away together. I'm not sure how they would do it because I imagine Cersei wouldn't stop searching for them until she knew they were both dead, but still...

Lastly, thank you for writing another amazing fic in this verse. You've seamlessly blended these two amazing verses and I love it.

Date: 2012-04-07 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Supposed to hate Cersei?? Why on earth would you think that? You're not supposed to hate Cersei. I love Cersei and I'm glad you do too :)

As for what they're going to do...well, I can't give that away now, can I?

Thank you for your kind comment. It's nice to know that other people think that these two fit into the GoT-verse as well as I do.

Date: 2012-04-03 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] strongwoman62.livejournal.com
This is amazing! I'm watching the first season of GoT now and, of course, I love LotS.

I just don't know what to say except you've totally got me hooked. Your writing of Cara and Kahlan is perfect and, from what I've seen so far, so is Cersei.

OMG, I love this!

Date: 2012-04-07 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you :) I'm glad you enjoy the characters as I write them. I find them great fun to play with ;)

Thanks for the feedback.

Date: 2012-04-04 01:36 am (UTC)
ext_270953: (Xena)
From: [identity profile] analise010.livejournal.com
ZNKOJRLHJKYHJGTBFHGFGHMKTYGHJGFETW!!!!!@!!

...wow. All of my emotions. Just so much frustration with these characters. Cersei Lannister is so evil, but I love her so much. Almost as much as I love what you've done with this crossover. Keep 'em coming. :D

Date: 2012-04-07 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you :) I'm glad you're enjoying it, and that you love Cersei as much as I do ;)

MY FEELS!!!

Date: 2012-04-04 02:11 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
CARA AND KAHLAN NEED TO RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY RIGHT NOW BEFORE BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO THEM AND THEIR LOVE!!!!

Re: MY FEELS!!!

Date: 2012-04-07 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Ooooh, I have plans for Cara and Kahlan....

;)

Date: 2012-04-04 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ogdafunkle.livejournal.com
This story is quite well written, you have the characters down and everything is so believable. I look forward to see where you're taking this.

I have a Luce/Rachel pick as my desktop background, so I read this and was all like "argh I hate you Cersei" then I minimised the window and was like "oh swoon I love you two".

Date: 2012-04-07 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm pleased that you like what I'm doing with the characters and the story.

I'm glad your background takes away some of Cersei's evilness ;)

Date: 2012-04-04 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaws-of-fenrir.livejournal.com
This is one of those rare crossovers that just WORKS. I can't believe how well you've done entwining theses stories and I hop you're further inspired by watching GoT season two because this series rocks!

Date: 2012-04-07 12:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Awww, thank you :) I do have more planned for these two, but I don't know when I'll get to it. Glad you're enjoying it though :D

LoS/GoT

Date: 2012-04-04 09:32 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It maybe a convoluted AU but it works. Seamless. Well done really enjoyed it.

Re: LoS/GoT

Date: 2012-04-07 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you :D

Date: 2012-04-04 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raug-moss.livejournal.com
now that I've started watching GoT I can finally completely and totally appreciate the epicness of this story.

I truly enjoyed reading this, and I hope you'll continue :)
thank you for sharing.

Date: 2012-04-07 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you!! I'm glad you've started watching GoT, just because I think everyone should be watching GoT :D But I'm also glad that it gives you more of an understanding of this story. I do hope to continue it.

Thanks again :)

Date: 2012-04-04 04:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] musicffyou.livejournal.com
Gosh damn! You are an amazing writer and this story could go either way. I'm so excited to see where you take this and I really hope this isn't a one shot :)

Thanks for posting!

Date: 2012-04-07 12:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you :D I do hope to take this somewhere so I appreciate you sticking with me ;)

Date: 2012-04-04 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] julz-t.livejournal.com
Amazing sequel/continuation of the previous instalments!
Still love all the characters in this universe.
Characters' voices are spot on and so much feelingssssssssss. Oh poor Kahlan bb, followed her heart and came all the way to find Cara... :'(
Beautifully written and I really enjoyed it!
Hope there'll be more..... :)

Date: 2012-04-07 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you :D Yes, Kahlan followed her heart south...but will she come to regret that choice...?

;) I'm glad you're enjoying this.

Date: 2012-04-04 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sameafnir.livejournal.com
yep, wonderfully written and great grasp on the world plus the characters. Hooked. :)

Date: 2012-04-07 01:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you :) I'm glad you're enjoying these.

Date: 2012-04-05 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] endgirl.livejournal.com
GUUUUH *falls down dead*

Tell me you are not going to leave it there! I am so hooked on this universe, and you have mashed my sensitive feelers up into a big pile of goo. I love Cara as a Lannister so hard.

Wonderful work!

Date: 2012-04-07 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I do plan to continue the story. I cannot promise that your feelings will not be further mashed by the continuation though... *hides*

I'm glad you like this universe. It's fun to play with these characters in this way.

Date: 2012-04-05 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spanishtvjunkie.livejournal.com
aaaagghhh! Angst in my pants! This does not bode well, people always die on GoT! Cersei is such a colossal bitch, well done!

Date: 2012-04-07 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
people always die on GoT - Yes. They do. DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUN.

;)

I'm glad you're enjoying this little romp in the dual universes.

Date: 2012-04-06 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] escapay.livejournal.com
well you know I love Cara as a Lannister (check my fanart), and this is just awesome. Its a great twist on already set ideas, it needs to be continued!

Date: 2012-04-07 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I remember your fan art very well :) I tumbled it back when you first produced it.

I do hope to continue in this verse so we'll see where we end up....

Date: 2012-05-06 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vanchidel.livejournal.com
Give. Me. More. ! :D

Seriously, I simply adore "The softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon", it makes me so happy that you wrote a sequel... :))) and it is great! :) :) :)

Date: 2012-05-07 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked it :D I do love to play in this universe.

Date: 2012-05-08 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Loved this series. Love this universe and all of your pairings. I hope you continue writing it!

Date: 2012-05-08 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you!! I enjoy this universe and I hope to return to it soon :)

Date: 2012-05-09 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sexonastick.livejournal.com
What I think I love most about this is honestly the way you write Cersei. She is a ridiculously complicated character -- honestly made even more so by the way the show portrayal varies slightly from the book and how that tinges everyone's perception of her -- but you capture her SO WELL. She's seductive, obsessive, vain, and capable of being so fucking cruel, and all of it's here. The start of the final scene where she's having Cara go down on her and neither of them is enjoying it but it has to happen anyway because Cersei wants to remind Cara what she's FOR -- that's so EXACTLY the character that it felt like, "Oh, hi there you crazy bitch, you. :D" Amazing job.

And even though I'd never seen the show, I knew just enough about Legend of the Seeker to realize that Cara makes perfect sense as a Lannister the moment my friend mentioned it; but now I've obviously got to reread it with actual perspective on Kahlan. Should be interesting. (And will probably increase the woobiness factor x10?) I will say though that it's impressive that you managed to create a bastard even more tragic and angsty than Jon Snow and still make her endearing.

Date: 2012-05-09 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I'm really, truly flattered by your comment. I'm always really please when people think that I've captured a character, and Cersei is totally my favourite GoT character, so it's doubly pleasing. I do think she's a very complex character and no-one completely knows what's going on with her - I think Lena portrays that very well. You know there's a ton of stuff going on beneath the surface, and you can make a guess at it, but you'll never know for sure. (I like show Cersei more than book Cersei, who I find to be a little more inconsistent than show Cersei.)

CARA IS SUCH A LANNISTER. It seems so obvious now. I had a conversation with one of my friends about the LotS characters and which houses they'd be in, and from the moment we mentioned Cara being a Lannister, everything seemed to fit. Everything. It was just perfect.

Kahlan was less clear. Immediately I thought she'd be a Stark, then perhaps a Tully. Then I thought that House Amnell might be something on its own - to the point where I drew a <A HREF="http://thegirl20.tumblr.com/post/7501217097/while-this-looks-like-the-product-of-a-drunken" TARGET="new>sigil</A> and a <A HREF="http://thegirl20.tumblr.com/post/7299629451/this-is-what-happens-when-people-leave-comments-on" TARGET="new>map</A>. So, somewhere in the mix, she became Ned's bastard. And I'm glad you find her endearing. I love Kahlan fiercely. Her history on the show (I haven't read the books. I tried but I just hated the way they were written.) just slays me and makes me so sad for her, and it makes me love her all the more that she is open and free with her love and her feelings. Anyway, long comment is long. Thank you for the very kind feedback. I hope you enjoy your journey through the Seekerverse. It's fun and the ladies are awesome.

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Date: 2012-07-19 03:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-stack.livejournal.com
I have to say these GoT/LotS crossover stories are awesome and I hope that you have time/inspiration to keep writing!

Date: 2012-07-23 07:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
I'm glad you like them :) I would love to continue this 'verse. We'll see....

Date: 2013-05-02 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carissa190.livejournal.com
Omg! This is incredible! Please continue! I cannot explain how much I adore this universe; two of the greatest shows and you wove them together flawlessly! I particularly love Kahlan as the bastard Snow... I can't wait to read what happens next!

Date: 2013-05-08 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Thank you :) I'm glad you liked my meshing of these two messy worlds. I do have intentions to continue it one day...don't know when, but I really do want to.

Thanks again.

Date: 2013-05-18 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tailog.livejournal.com
you have to continue this is way too epic!!

Date: 2013-06-15 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-girl-20.livejournal.com
Maybe I will.....

Glad you liked it!!! ;)

Date: 2014-10-30 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naschpitz.livejournal.com
THUMBS UP FOR MY EVER FAVORITE CROSSOVER IN THE WHOLE HISTORY.

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