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The Way It Was and Always Will Be

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It is over. It is all over.


The quest for the Stone of Tears – the one true Seekers mission to seal the rift to the Underworld and banish the Keeper from the world of the living – is over. No one truly thought they might fail.


Richard.


Richard Rahl, Seeker of Truth, is dead.


His gravestone casting but another shadow on the murky sand right next to the ruins of the Pillars of Creation where he had fallen - and never stood again. Stabbed to death by his one, true love. What a glorious mess.


When her Breath of Life faded into nothingness, Cara could only assume that the dagger piercing Richard’s chest had injured his heart too badly to ever be revived. She had tried – oh had she tried, over and over again – until the last bit of the magical mist was exhausted and she was left feeling empty inside. The look of desperation and terror on Kahlan’s tear streaked face once released from confession, kneeling in the blood-soaked sand cradling his lifeless body in her arms, haunts Cara’s violent dreams ever since.


The Creator’s once bright light is fading, each passing day a barely noticeable bit more. Cara knows it cannot be more than a matter of months, maybe even just a few weeks, until the Keeper is going to rise from the Underworld with his minions to bring darkness over the lands for all eternity.


It is inevitable as the golden sun that still rises high in the sky in the mornings.


After all the battles, adventures and missteps, they have gone through during their quest; the unexpected stillness of her current life is unsettling - and plainly boring. The sudden lack of Banelings or other devilish outbreaks is bothering Cara more than she wants to admit. An uncanny calm has settled over the lands foreshadowing the inescapable storm that is just waiting in the wings to overturn them.


With Richard Rahl gone and the Sword of Truth shattered in half, even a Wizard of the First Order can’t name a new Seeker.


As the silver gleaming blade split in two, blinding white light poured from the broken shards, a shock-wave escaping, magic fleeing – powerful enough to knock everyone who still stood on their feet to the ground. The wind had picked up, as the Creator’s salty tears rained as harsh as hail from the darkening sky.


At last, Kahlan and Zedd had returned with her to Aydindril, to mourn Richard along with a future now lost to all living creatures.


Whatever happened in the last months of their journey, how much Cara had become a servant to Richard Rahl or even a trusted friend to the Mother Confessor herself, the white palace looming high into the sky feels foreign and she, the Mord’Sith in red polished leathers, as a highly unwelcome guest. The nagging feeling of not quite belonging has never been more present, than it is here and now. Maybe because death is just a stone’s throw away. Hushed whispers follow her wherever she goes and the banality and boredom of her daily life in the palace only adds up to her displeasure. She feels like a Keeper’s advocate intruding the Creator’s holy sanctuary.


When Cara eventually leaves the sacred city, the once lush green grass of the endless meadows surrounding the palace is already turning yellow and dull, not entirely unlike the gleam in Kahlan’s eyes that is gone since the day as Richard died. It is not a goodbye forever, Cara muses, not even for very long then the Keeper might decide any day now to let the world of the living perish. Cara is convinced that he has planned a unique way into perdition for each one of them. At least in the very end, they will take this journey together.


Her trip on horseback takes her through the Midlands, unconsciously almost the same way she once upon a time traveled with Richard, Kahlan and Zedd by her side. Only now, she and her brown furred horse are moving much faster, with no one slowing them down. Obviously.


The time spent with Richard and the others has changed her thoughts and feelings - buried as they might be. Cara accepts this more freely these days than only a few seasons ago. Still, deep down in the dark corners of her soul she is still a Mord’Sith at heart and even the passing of time cannot change that vital part of her. Especially now, that the end is so very near, the true Lord Rahl dead and with him gone any reason for her to prove herself to anyone. It’s an unexpected feeling of freedom she genuinely enjoys. It is not that she has taken upon killing randomly innocent villagers. Not yet, anyway.


The town of Stonecraft is not far off her route and Cara might get to see her sister again. She is most likely the only person left on this earth with whom she shares a genuine connection apart from Kahlan and Zedd back in Aydindril. Memories of the last time they met, ghost through her mind, a reunion after all those years not on best terms - and Cara wonders, if she will be welcomed there with open arms. It rather sounds like an excuse for her to avoid it - even to herself. She knows the actual issue bothering her, is if she truly wants to spend her last remaining days pretending to be someone she isn’t – wasn’t for a time longer than she can remember. For all Cara knows, her sister and family are most likely dead already. The uneasiness that had settled heavy in her stomach at the possibility of facing her again, vanishes as soon as she directs her horse to pass by her hometown altogether.


Although Cara does not have a particular destination in mind, D’Haras mountain range and landscapes arise before her inner eye - colors and shapes form in her mind from distant memory. She cannot ban the longing in her chest for the familiar sight, even though it must be a testimony of her growing weakness. At least she will not have to worry about those inadequacies for very long, when the Keeper tortures her in one of the darkest pits the Underworld has to offer – sooner rather than later.


Cara finds herself wondering, if any of her former sisters, disloyal to her as each one of them may be, is still alive. Has a small piece of old law and order been uphold somewhere in the shadowy corners of D’Hara? Are the temple baths still heated as hot and distinctively scented as she remembers? Are there still quivering slaves left, held captive deep down in cold and clammy dungeons, waiting impatiently for their Mistress’ to be trained?

 

Oh, how dearly she misses the sound of a screaming Agiel - that is for once - not her very own.

 


 

Week after week flies by and the stifling hot weather of summer gives way to rather mellow, warm evenings and less suffocating heat. The temperature in general is rising; far warmer as usual for this time of year and it does not cool down, not even with the arriving of fall. In all likelihood a courtesy of the Keeper, one of many these days. Banelings are not as scarce as they had been in the area of Aydindril, but still not enough to keep her thoroughly entertained. Making a fire to burn the many corpses is much too difficult without a Wizard at hand, who has fire spilling from his fingers without any effort. After a few days of trying to get the smell of burned flesh out of her hair, Cara lets them rot where they fall to the ground at the end of her Agiel. It is not like it matters any longer anyway, but there is time to pass, somehow.


Running into Denna though, of all people, on a journey that has only death as destination, seems to be a twist of fate. Even Cara can find humor in it and a raspy chuckle breaks free unbidden from her throat, as she spots the former first Mistress at the edge of a forest, trees looming high and hiding her in shadows. Her former sister is surveying the dying meadow stretched out before her with a trained eye directed slightly above. A wooden bow is raised into the cloudy sky; the arrow pulled back on a taunt string as she follows a fat bird’s flight-course with the entirety of her upper body as it circles unsteadily through the air. Denna’s movements are cautious, but practiced, belying any doubt that the woman is anything but a ruthless hunter by creation.


The wind blows and ruffles through long strands that have escaped a rather messy ponytail. Under normal circumstances Cara would not have paid a stranger along the way any attention, where it not for that shade of hair, that gleams and glistens almost white in the sparkling sunlight. Somehow, it had irked her, triggered a familiar memory of a time long passed.


Fingers close more tightly around the horse’s worn reins, as she watches Denna from the distance, shielded by trees so huge she can lead her horse easily to fit behind them. She is not hiding, not exactly, but maybe Cara does not want to approach Denna right away.


Maybe not even at all.


The thought is not even finished in her mind and she already realizes it does not ring true; it feels even blatantly outrageous that she would let this opportunity slip through her fingers, without taking advantage.


Another Mord’Sith promises to be a distraction, a distraction Cara desperately seeks. Violence and bloodshed at best.


Denna has not seen her yet and Cara is careful not to let it happen by accident. There is a slight tremble running through her gloved fingers as they play back and forth over her Agiel. The pain leaking into her fingertips is tempting, dulling her rising nervousness as it is turning into almost giddy excitement.


Cara watches on as Denna fetches the unsuspecting bird from the sky without much ado. After its retrieval, the animal is strapped by its claws to Denna’s belt. A moment later, the other woman has retreated into the woods and suddenly has vanished from her sight.


The loss of her target leaves Cara both with trepidation and excitement. Trepidation because she may not ever see her again and excitement for a possible hunt. It is not about Denna as a human being, but about a sign that reminds her of a time when her life had purpose.


In the end, Cara chooses to follow as quickly as she deems viable while not being noticed. The trees surrounding her are gigantic and thick in diameter, the forest itself dark and narrow, especially with nightfall fast approaching. Two or three candle-marks later, Denna’s barely existing trail goes cold in a small river and Cara is not beneath cursing her through clenched teeth for not giving into her desire for… something entertaining apart from her unspectacular daily routine. Without a trace of her former sister, Cara is forced to give up her search when she can barely see her own hand before her eyes anymore. Making camp not far from place she had spotted Denna first, seems like a good idea as any.


To her utter disappointment, the night proves to be uneventful, as do the following days after that. The area is mostly free of Banelings or any other living creatures, so she spends her days topping up her supplies by scavenging deserted farms and cottages, which are literally as numerous by now as grains of sand at the beach.


Her evening meal of her third night contains of meat from a rabbit she had caught in the morning, a piece of bread and a handful sweet-flavored cherries. The food has for once been plenty and will even be enough to last her through the next day. She hadn’t found any trace of the other Mord’Sith again and during these quests and begins to wonder, if she had ever seen Denna at all. Taking a sip of water, Cara decides to continue with her journey in the early hours of the morning. Maybe Denna had vanished from the face of the earth, like she had a few years ago when Darken Rahl was after her to take a life. Or maybe seeing a familiar face had been a piece of her imagination running wild. A misguided sense of loneliness and need for companionship? Not that Cara has any idea why her mind would conjure something up like that - especially Denna. The campfire cracks and flickers, shadows dance over the trees and Cara falls almost instantly asleep as her head hits her worn-out bedroll.


At the break of dawn the first few birds start chirping and Cara curls unconsciously closer to the remaining heat, trying to block out the noise with a scratchy blanket over her ears. A few candle marks later, a weight on her body pulls her from sleep and back to hazy consciousness. The fire has burned down to a pile of glowing embers and Cara blinks herself awake, shielding her eyes with a hand against the first rays of sunshine.


To her surprise, the woman she has been looking for for days - kept evading her every effort to be found - is grinning down at her like a madwoman. Denna is sitting with one leg on each side of her stomach, a knife snugly pressed against Cara's exposed, pulsing throat.


As Denna leans down, she blocks out the sunlight from above and Cara can see her clearly for the first time. The blade nicks her skin and warm blood trickles down into her collar.


“You will wish I died in that darn river.”


Her voice still sounds raw and just as sharp as the blade against her skin, but it is the darkness in Denna's gaze that lets her heartbeat jump up to her throat. There is a moment of awe and Cara goes over the hundred possible ways to throw her former sister off of her, when Denna suddenly slashes the entirety of her throat with a murderous cackle. With nowhere to go Cara jerks - and wakes with a start - panting hard and a trembling hand pressed against her throat. Much to her own surprise, it comes away clean when she looks at it.


When she glances up eventually and over the remains of the still glowing campfire, the object of her recent nightmare lounges against a tree with a fist against her cheek, observing her with rapt attention. Cara meets Denna’s steel blue eyes and the other Mord’Sith' releases a chuckle that sounds like gravel and continues to eat was is left of Cara’s breakfast.


Denna leans back against the tree, and smirks at her, not as mad as in her dream, but close. As soon as she is convinced, she has Cara's full attention, she pops a cherry into her mouth. One she definitely hasn’t picked by herself. "Ah, sleeping beauty finally awakens.. How delightful. Some things never change, do they Cara?” Denna musters her quietly for a moment, scrunching up her nose, in that annoying, arrogant fashion of hers.


“How you were able to survive that long without being slaughtered in your sleep eludes me.” Charming as ever. But it is comforting that even when the world ends, some things, just like Denna’s superior arrogance, stay the same. The slight upturn of Denna’s mouth make her wonder though, if Denna knows exactly what she’s been dreaming about.


It annoys her to no end that Denna was able to sneak up on her, but Cara figures the other woman might be one of the few exceptions, who is actually able to do it. Not that she would ever admit it. Especially not to Denna herself.


"I don't remember inviting you to breakfast. My breakfast. Or inviting you here at all." Cara lunges forward, snatching the bowl out of Denna's fingers. The other Mord’Sith pouts dramatically for a fraction of a second, then purses her lips. “Well, hospitality never has been one of your strong suits. I shouldn't be surprised.”


Cara snorts. “Please, but it has been yours?”


“I have always been very welcoming with my Agiel!?” Denna smirks, dark painted lips revealing a line of perfect white teeth.The look on her face reminds Cara of that of a predator - or maybe a brothel Madame - and it is both equally disturbing. But at this moment, still not entirely awake, she is not in the mood to bring those memories up just yet. An overly executed eye-roll remains therefore her only answer.


"So, you are enjoying a bit of alone time before the road ends,” Denna asks, almost sounding casual. But Cara sees the tightening of her expression, the hard set of her lips. “Before the Keeper lays waste to all that breathes?"


It is not like there had been little birds flying across the territories, telling everyone the news of the world ending. But Denna isn’t senseless, never was. Maybe insufferably stubborn and self-absorbed, but not stupid. She is certainly not surprised the former First Mistress has noticed what is happening with the world around them.


“You could say that.” Cara allows, as she sits up fully. Green eyes narrow, before she turns her attention to the bowl and the remaining food she was able to salvage from her unwelcome intruder.

 

 


 

 


As it turns out, Denna has a cabin in the woods - of course she does - not that far from where Cara had been staying, far enough though that she had not stumbled across it on her daily quests through the thick forest. It is not really an invitation - not that she had expected or even wanted one in the first place - but Denna goes on and tells her that she could stay a night - if she truly must. And shares her food. When Cara makes a quip about Denna falling back into old habits, offering a night for mere food and no coin, Denna shoots her a look, dark enough to have the hairs on her neck standing on end.


Cara has not yet decided, if she wants to take Denna up on her offer, but then there is really nothing else to do. So she might as well see at least where her former sister has taken up residence.


They are walking for almost an hour in silence, which is not entirely unpleasant, when they pass through a small village that is completely void of living creatures. Not counting the dead souls that are roaming the farther edge of the assortment of houses, enclosing the entire area around them. Denna’s ever present calm expression is suddenly gone and replaced with tight lines on her features.


By the time they arrive at the first house, Cara counts at least a few hundred banelings, lingering about, searching for a last chance to fulfill the Keeper's bargain.


Pulling her Agiels free from her belt, Cara has no qualms to send them right back to the Underworld were they came from. As she steps forward, Denna pulls her violently into the first empty house and shuts the door as quietly, but hurriedly as she can.


“Have you gone mad?” She whispers furiously as she turns, her forearm pressing against Cara’s breastbone, full weight pressing Cara against the wall behind the door. Blue eyes wide open and really, that Denna is the one questioning her sanity, makes Cara chuckle.


“I am not afraid of a few Banelings.” Cara grinds out between clenched teeth, pushing back at Denna’s arm that is still pressing against her chest, leaning forward into her space. “Don’t tell me you have gone soft in your old days?” Her own voice is low and not much louder than her former sister’s had been. Somehow it seems appropriate when Denna's face is so close to her own. For the first time since they met again, Cara studies her face more closely, noticing the fine lines around her eyes, that hadn’t been there the last time she saw her. Otherwise Denna doesn’t look much different, the blue eyes are still sharp and penetrating and her full lips still sinful. As a pink tongue pokes out to wet them, Cara realizes she has been staring. Her heart skips a beat, suddenly drumming faster and stronger than before. Denna’s gaze is curious, intrigued even as leans that much closer. Cara can feel the warmth of her breath on her lips as Denna finally speaks, “No, but I certainly learned to pick my battles.” Her gaze drops lower for a moment, before she finally steps away. “But don’t let me keep you.”


“If you wish to die today - by all means.” Denna waves a hand and her face scrunches up in that eerily familiar manner, Cara has seen a hundred times before.

 

“But I for one have no desire to die just yet.” Cara waits for Denna to stamp down her foot to prove her point, but she doesn’t. Her lips stretch into a positively wolfish grin instead, the one steadily edging closer towards madness. “Let me watch though. From a distance.”

 

 


 

 

It takes them another hour to go around the village and the never ending stream of Banelings who seem to have herded together. Cara wonders, if maybe Denna wants company just as desperately as Cara wants it herself, but neither of them is prepared to admit it just yet - or ever - for that matter. Taking Denna up on the offer to join her, seems just as desperate to Cara - and they both know it.

 

Denna - of all of her sisters - would not have been her first choice to spend one of her last days with – maybe not even the second - or the third. On the other hand, somewhere deep down, she is glad that it is Denna and no one else – and she needn’t to pretend. Not that she would put much effort into it - with only so few days left. However, having company again after weeks of silence and not a soul close by that she has known or got to know during her journey, is not comforting exactly, but... acceptable. Even more so, because Denna just knows. Knows everything of her past as a Mord’Sith. Intimately even, for she has gone through the same stages in life.

 

Even though they never had any close relationship - far from it. She and Denna had crossed paths during countless missions, in the temples and were even stationed at the People’s Palace at the same time. But back then they had always rather been rivals than companions. Cara had tried to stay out of Denna’s way as much as she could - as had Denna. They were never friendly, nothing like she and Dahlia had been. If she was honest, Cara could appreciate Denna’s attributes and her appeal to others - in a certain kind of way. But as far as Cara knew, Denna had always been rather straight forward in all her pursuits. There were rumors, back in the day, that she might had ever been seeking comfort by her sisters. But those whispers never had much merit. Maybe Darken Rahl never wanted to share his prized possession or it just was not to her liking. Not that Cara had given it much thought at the time. No, Denna annoyed her way too much for that.

 

The memory of her time before Richard has become blurry around the edges, but as far as she remembers Denna had never trained her when she was still a novice, never faced her in battle. Apart from a fateful arrow, that hit its mark through flesh and bone in a stroke of luck.

 

Once upon a time Cara had wondered how it would feel to be completely at Denna’s mercy. Back then, Denna had been first Mistress after all. Known for her cruelty and fierceness. But those thoughts of a much younger Mord’Sith had long passed and Cara had fought her way up the ranks of the Sisterhood on her very own.

 

They leave the forest behind and cross a meadow with grass so high the ends brush up against her leather-clad thighs. They do not speak of arrows or the fact that everyone had just assumed Denna was dead. Or that no one cared enough to confirm it.

 


 

 

The cabin is small, but convenient. When they enter Denna tells her a story of how she found it abandoned. Not that she had wondered, if the blonde had slain its former owners. Cara doubts that Denna would lie about something so trivial to her, so Cara takes Denna at her word. It is a two-room cottage, solid stonework with a rather spacious living room and a small area for cooking, with a stove and counter in the corner of the main room. An assembly of two cushioned armchairs, a comfortable looking lounge and a low wooden table are placed in front of a large fireplace in the center of the room. The second chamber, Cara assumes to be the bedroom since she cannot spot anything resembling a sleeping place close by. Denna does not offer a tour.


Later, Cara watches the sun set through one of the open windows, tinting the sky in a golden glow as Denna begins to rummage through the kitchen, lighting the stove and then puts a knife to an assortment of vegetables.


Cara twists the corner of her mouth in wry amusement. “You cook?”


Denna scrunches up her nose in an annoyingly pretentious fashion as she glances over. “Horribly.”


In the end the soup together with the last of Cara’s bread turns out to be the most decent meal she had in weeks.


Cara stays.


A few weeks later she stops thinking about the wrongness of it all, the past or a future that will never come to pass.

 


 

Orange flames crackle and dart across the open fireplace, occasionally popping loudly as they lick at the dry wood. Outside, a summer storm rages that they had just barely escaped from their daily quests for supplies. The wind whistles by the scratches, while inside the cottage it’s comfortable dry and warm, shutting out the doomed world and the end of all days with a simple click of a wooden door falling into an iron lock. She might as well stay as long as Denna doesn’t annoy her much more than she already does, Cara reasons, as she has nowhere else to be anymore - no more promises to keep.


When night is falling, Cara finds herself sitting in front of the fire, nursing a stiff drink Denna has handed to her. She chides herself for the brief moment of hesitation before she puts the glass to her lips, considering the slightly older woman on the second chair for a while, before she finally swallows. Denna may be many things – insane, morally questionable on a good day – but never once a coward who would try to kill her now with poison. It leaves a burning, yet not entirely unwelcome sensation all the way down her throat, settling as a cozy warmth in her stomach.


“Richard is dead,” she hears herself saying without any prompting by Denna beside her.


Denna cocks her head, acknowledging the words but remains silent and motionless in her own chair. She is not surprised, as far as Cara can tell from her guarded expression, but then there wouldn’t be any reason for Cara to roam through all three territories entirely on her own, if the Seeker wasn’t gone as well as all hope of sealing the rift to the Underworld.


Cara sleeps in the living room close to the fire, while Denna occupies the sparely furnished bedroom. When she is awoken by screams during the night, she feels her chest tighten and something clawing at her heart like a vice. She doesn’t mention the nightmares to Denna and knows the other Mord’Sith is grateful for her silence.

 


 

“I don’t mind having you here as much as I thought I would.” They’re both in the open kitchen, preparing dinner and Cara glances over at her former sister in astonishment. Denna looks like she is about to get sick, her face tight, displeased with the words she obviously hadn’t planned to share.


„Don’t you?“ Cara questions and finds herself genuinely curious.


Denna’s eyes narrow, flittering away from Cara’s before she meets them again. “I had to reconsider some of my choices in the past recently. So no, I don’t. This is certainly not one of them.”


She’s still rigid and clearly uncomfortable, chopping the ingredients for today's stew with a tad more vigor than what can be considered necessary and Cara begins to wonder what this sudden revelation is truly about. Deliberately, Cara puts her own knife down onto the countertop, turns on her heel towards Denna and doesn’t stop walking until the other woman's back hits the wall behind her with a thud.


“How much exactly don’t you mind?”


Denna watches her, blue eyes gleaming dark and dangerous, daring her to do something bold. Like lean forward and touch her lips to Denna’s. She brings a fingertip to Denna’s chest, where she finds her sister’s heart beating just as rapidly as her own. As though magnetized, she steps even closer, all the while captured by that challenge in her steel blue eyes that have haunted her since that day at the cliff. She flickers a glance at Denna’s mouth, barely inches away now. All she has to do is tilt her chin, reach her tongue out to her lips and.. She closes her eyes, swallows, and takes a deep breath. Flattening her palm against the wall, she pushes herself away.


“The fire is almost burnt down.” Cara flickers her eyes away from Denna’s, the other woman stands rooted to the spot. Her body flattened still against the stone. “I’ll get some more from outside.”


“You do that.” Denna murmurs lowly, her gaze following Cara outside with a brooding intensity.

 

 


 

 

How she eventually ends up in between Denna’s sheets, Cara cannot possibly say. But then, they both knew from the beginning that it would end there – that or one of them less alive. In a moment of silence, the only light source being the open, dry and hot fire in the other room, Cara realizes that she actually does not mind anymore. She admits - if only to herself and not to Denna - that there is not a single place left in this dying land, where she would rather be right now. Strangely enough, it almost feels like coming home.


And if there were anyone left to tell, rumors surrounding a certain former first Mistress would finally have been confirmed.

 

 


 

 

In the morning, she finds herself treading fingers through golden strands, which fall in soft waves down her former sister's unclothed shoulder. Denna is still sleeping, her eyes fluttering slightly, beneath the closed lids. It is the most peaceful, vulnerable, Cara has ever seen her and somehow the contrast to the former Mistress keeps fascinating her.

“You’re watching me,” Denna says after a long while without moving or opening her eyes, her voice deep, thick with sleep.


“How would you know?” Cara huffs, annoyed that she has been caught – or rather, that Denna dares to call her out on it. Not that it matters – but still. Denna should know better than voice all that comes to her mind aloud, especially when it leaves Cara at a disadvantage, but then Denna never knew when to keep her mouth shut. And never particularly cared.


“I did not.” Her former sister purrs, cracking her eyes open just barely to fix her gaze on Cara. The corners of her lips tuck slightly upwards as she says, “But I do now.”


Cara considers denying it, but settles to glare at Denna who’s smug smile is only growing wider on her lips. The urge to slap the insolent grin off her sister’s face is so familiar like pulling on her gloves, that her hand clenches into a fist at her side beneath the covers.


Cara kisses her roughly instead. Denna stops mocking her for a long while after that.

 

 


 

 

It is only a few days later when the sky is tinted in different shades of sickly green, losing its blue hue each passing moment a little more. They have known this day would eventually come, sooner rather than later, and yet, its arrival takes them by surprise.


What does not surprise Cara at all, is to see Denna back in red polished leathers, gleaming in the fading light, as she steps through the door to join her outside on the lawn of the cottage. The dry, brown grass crunches beneath her sister's heel until she stops at Cara's side. They stand in silence to watch the rapidly darkening sky and the angry swirling clouds. Cara ponders, if Denna kept her armor around for a reason other than a sense of nostalgia. It is mended in several places; fine straight lines in blood red thread. The day the world ends, Cara supposes, may just count as most appropriate of occasions.


The ground beneath them shudders as in the distance fissures break through the Earth, unleashing an otherworldly gleam and sparkling sparks flaring up to the sky. With baited breath, Cara watches as Banelings crawl from the openings by the thousands. The stench of death and rotten flesh suddenly thick in the air.


When she turns to look at Denna and those hauntingly blue eyes lock with hers, Cara knows she has made the right choice in staying. She might as well die today, but she feels content - and somehow not alone.


Denna's lips twist into that maniacal grin of hers and the determination in her sister's gaze for once does not set her on edge, but comforts her instead.


Cara may as well die today, but when Denna pulls an Agiel free from her side, releasing the screaming whispers of the weapon in the eerie silence around them, Cara follows suit with a smirk of her own. As she nods at Denna, holding her sister's gaze for an intimate moment longer, their shared past is almost tangible.


Both of them are certainly going to die today. But then the last two of the Mord'Sith might just enjoy to go down fighting, until the very last glowing Breath of Life has dissipated.


When Denna starts strolling towards the swiftly growing rifts, Cara lingers behind for just a moment longer to appreciate the tight fitting leather on her sister's body. As Denna halts and looks back at her over her shoulder, she lifts an eyebrow as she catches Cara staring, feigning irritation. “Come now, we wouldn’t want to miss the fun.” Denna calls, winking at her, as if death is not waiting for them less than a candle-mark away.


“Yes, Mistress,” Cara answers airily, just for the sole purpose to see Denna’s bright eyes twinkle with mirth. She realizes then, it might be the last time the appellation is ever spoken out loud in this world by anyone.

 

Cara shakes her head to clear her mind and begins to close the distance to her waiting sister.

 

This is it.