Fandom: Legend of the Seeker
Characters/Pairings: Dennee Amnell, Darken Rahl, Denna, Edwin Amnell, Darken/Dennee, Denna/Dennee, OCs
Warnings: Nudity, character death...
Word Count: 3,806
Written for/Dedicated to: my beautiful bestie adi_dion !
Summary: What happens when you wake up in a strange place and a strange body with no idea how you got there or how you became so battered? Dennee Amnell is about to find out, and the discoveries she makes of her past just may surprise her.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. I do not own these fabulous characters; they just like to do my bidding ;)
Author's Note: A special thank you to my lovely beta, confessoralana, who had me work harder on this than I expected :P That being said, any mistakes are my own :)
Never before had life seemed so abstract as it did today. Hours had passed since she had awakened in that cold dark cave up in the mountains. She couldn’t remember how she had gotten there, but that place gave her the chills, there was something odd about it; she sensed danger and she was in no shape to risk it. She was exhausted, her body was battered and stiff, and her throat was so dry she wasn’t sure she could speak if she wanted to. Her clothes were tattered and… far too skimpy for her taste. Her hair was a disaster with so many knots it hurt, and her bare feet were sore and bleeding. She’d been walking aimlessly for hours, all that mattered was that she got away from that cave… but, that wasn’t even the worst of it…
She heard the rush of water nearby, so she followed its music. Soon she found herself by a river. She knelt down to test the water, it was cold, but she didn’t care. She cupped some water with her hands and gently poured it over her face. Slowly she washed the dirt and the tearstains from her face. She still couldn’t tell why she had been crying; only that she was ashamed of it. She stared into her reflection for a while, studying the contours of… her face. It was strange and unfamiliar. She looked so… different. Her long blonde hair was now a deep brown, and her eyes were… it was like she was staring into someone else’s face, not her own. She knew it wasn’t possible, she must have been hallucinating. A person’s body does not simply change overnight. She stood to leave, but suddenly felt very dirty, and not just because her arms and legs were caked in dirt, it was… something else, something… inexplicable. She let a fresh tear fall and she closed her eyes for a moment. When she reopened them, the same unfamiliar reflection stood before her. She brought her hands up, allowing her fingers to trace over the features of this stranger’s face. Gently she trailed them down, following the outline of this body, she wasn’t sure she liked what she saw or what she was feeling, but she knew she didn’t hate it. It was just… uncomfortable. She needed to understand what had happened; she needed to understand this body. Without giving it much thought, she slipped the fabric off her shoulders, allowing the skin to breath. Soon she found herself slipping out of her clothing entirely. Stark naked, the cool breeze patted against her flesh. It was cold, but somehow she felt a little less uncomfortable. She examined her nude reflection, as her fingers continued to trace her new form.
Slowly, she stepped into the water. She let the rush of it bathe her. She stayed there, in the sweet, wet silence for what seemed like hours. It felt good. She smiled slightly. She didn’t want to leave the water’s embrace, but the skin of her fingers had wrinkled from exposure, warning her that this had to end. She emerged from the water and found her ragged clothes lain on the ground. She was reluctant to wear them, but she had no other options. She had no way to dry herself, either. So she chose not to put them on, at least not yet. She walked along the river for a short while, allowing the cool wind to dry her body as well as the blood that had begun to pour anew. It didn’t even bother her that she was in the middle of a forest, and that there was always a possibility that she could run into someone. This body was not her own, therefore she had no reason to hide it. It wouldn’t embarrass her; it would make absolutely no difference.
Time flew by, and luckily, or unluckily, she had not had to run into anyone. She made her way back to where she had left her clothes. Her skin was dry and refreshed. Slipping into those dusty tattered garments was anything but satisfactory. She needed something new to wear, but she had no money, and she had no idea where she was. So off she wandered, hoping to fall upon some luck or... perhaps her sister. She couldn’t figure out why or how she had been parted from her.
Hours later, she found herself stumbling into a small village. Everyone seemed to stare at her as she walked through. It was the clothing. She knew it. Why else would they be falling into silent whispers as she passed?
She spotted two young girls; one of them looked to be about ten years old, the other maybe two years younger than that. They were playing some sort of game. She watched them laugh as they played; it gave her such a warm feeling. She had only a few good memories of her childhood, and she could only wish to be one of those little girls, if only for a moment.
Suddenly she felt a large weight press against her, only to recoil seconds later. “Oh spirits! I am so sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going I—” The man stopped to stare at her for a moment; he seemed shocked and scared all at once. “I… I… I… Forgive me Conf— Mother Confessor.”
She was confused now even more than before, why was this man afraid of her? Well, most men feared the touch of a Confessor, but… not quite like this. Confessors were respected. “Oh, it’s fine,” she replied quietly, then it dawned on her; “Mother Confessor?”
“I… I’ll just get out of your way. I’m sorry.” He didn’t even bother to pick up the stuff he had dropped, he just ran.
She watched him run. She couldn’t understand what had just happened. What was she missing? And why had he called her Mother Confessor? She shook her head to rid herself of the thought, it wasn’t worth worrying over. She needed to find her way home, to her sister.
She continued walking, the dry earth grinding into the wounds on her feet, attempting to ignore the stares and whispers surrounding her.
The sun had set long ago. She couldn’t walk much further, she needed sleep. She had never been particularly fond of sleep, but at this very moment, there was nothing she wanted more than to lay back and rest her eyes for a few peaceful hours. She dragged her feet along with her as she continued on, her eyes fighting to stay open, but they could only fend off the exhaustion for so long.
There was a lone tree a few feet away, it had an arched back and almost looked like a dancer. The leaves came forward to one side, creating the perfect shade area for whenever the sun would come up. She walked towards it, leaned against its trunk and slowly slid to the ground. She stretched her legs out and rested her head against it. It was a perfect fit, and it wasn’t long before she drifted off into the land of dreams.
“Miss, Miss… hello…”
She woke to the sound of a woman. Her eyes fluttered open. A beautiful red haired woman stood above her. She scrambled to her feet and stared at the other woman.
“Are you alright?” the fiery haired woman asked.
She did not answer; she simply stared at her, trying to determine whether or not she was dreaming.
“I saw you out here, and wondered… hello?” she waved a hand in front of her face, “are you alright?”
She nodded silently and looked away. Her stomach betrayed her, grumbling with hunger.
“Are you hungry? You don’t look so good… I mean, you look exhausted…”
“I’m fine.” She said finally, and then she turned to continue on her journey to… wherever it was she was headed.
“Wait!” The other woman called out, reaching out to grab her arm. “Where are you going?”
“Home.” She answered simply.
She let out a long sigh and looked down for a moment.
“Why don’t you come with me? We can get something to eat and perhaps some clean clothes…”
She turned slowly to look at her, considering the offer.
“Come on,” the red-head smiled, gesturing for her to follow. And so, she did.
“This should fit,” she held up an elegant white dress.
“It’s beautiful.” She reached out to feel its fabric; it was incredibly soft to the touch.
“It was my mother’s” she smiled sadly.
“Oh, I can’t accept this…” she dropped her hand and shook her head ever so slightly.
“Nonsense. If you don’t, it’ll just be stuck in here forever.” She held it up against the Confessor’s thin body, “Besides, I think it’ll suit you.”
She put on the dress; it was light and, surprisingly, the perfect fit.
“You look lovely.”
She simply smiled at the generous young woman, her cheeks turning a soft pink.
They sat to eat, but they did not speak much, and it surprised Dennee that this young woman was so patient. But Dennee was grateful for the silence, as she was much too tired to try and explain that she had no explanation. Besides, she wouldn’t know what to say, she had too many questions and no answers to receive.
They said their goodbyes, and she thanked the kind woman. As she walked off, she heard the woman call out to her, “I forgot to ask, what’s your name?”
She turned to look back at the other woman, “Dennee, Dennee Amnell.”
“Dennee Amnell. Why, you’re –” she noticed the Confessor wasn’t all that comfortable with the recognition, so she pretended not to know the name. “I’m Kara. If you ever come by this way again, you know where to find me.”
Dennee smiled, “thank you for everything, Kara.” And then she proceeded on her journey.
She was only a day’s walk from Aydindril now. This was her home, this was where she belonged. She wished she had a horse, to carry her off her feet. Kara had given her a pair of shoes to go along with the dress, but still, she could feel every rock beneath them. Her feet no longer bled, but the pain was still there.
She found her way to the road to Aydindril. A short while later, a carriage came by, the driver stopped his horses a short distance ahead of her. He got out and looked back at her.
Dennee stared at him, confused.
“It is you. Your majesty!”
Your majesty? Dennee thought. Since when?
“We thought… We thought maybe you’d been…”
Dennee simply stared at the strange man.
“Allow me to offer you a ride into town?” he offered as he approached her. “The people will be so happy to see you!” he grinned.
He offered her his hand and she took it. He led her to his carriage and helped her climb up. He then came up to sit next to her, smiling. He lifted the reigns and urged the horses to continue.
“Thank you,” she said finally.
At first, he attempted to engage her in conversation, clearly curious about something that she must have been involved with before, but her delayed, short responses led him into silence, and it was in silence that they rode for the remainder of the trail.
As they travelled through town, everyone stared in awe. It was as though they’d seen a ghost. Finally they reached the palace doors. He stopped the carriage, stepped down and helped her out.
“Thank you,” she said once more, this time with a bit of a smile.
“It was my pleasure.” He grinned. And then, his facial expression turned and he spoke quietly, “my condolences to you, your majesty.”
She looked at him again, confused.
He gave her a sad smile and then turned to leave.
She entered the palace, only to find a dozen servants falling down to their knees, bowing down to her. She looked at them, again confused. What in the Spirits is going on here? She smiled shyly at them all and asked them kindly to rise. They did so immediately. And then came the offers. They wanted to serve her in any way they possibly could. Dennee wasn’t particularly comfortable with this.
“Mommy!” she heard a little voice call out. A little boy (who couldn’t be more than four, maybe five years old) ran towards her excitedly, arms wide open. He hugged her legs when he had come close enough.
Dennee did not know how to respond. Who was this boy? And why was he calling her ‘Mommy’? She smiled unsurely, to avoid disappointing the child.
Soon the doors burst open. A man in royal red robes entered through them. He smiled at her and walked towards her quickly. Without hesitation, he wrapped his arms around her tightly.
“Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick.” He whispered in her ear.
She pushed him off her and began to reach for her ankles, only to remember that she did not have any daggers on her. Her eyes wandered around the room wildly, she wondered why everyone was acting so naturally. “What are you doing? What are you doing here?”
The man looked somewhat worried, but mostly confused. He knelt down and picked up the young boy. “Edwin, why don’t you go into the other room and play with Irina for a while, Mommy and I will be out in a minute.” The child smiled and kissed him on the cheek before one of the servants took him out of the room.
“Leave us.” He stated simply to all the other servants. They left.
“Where have you been? I – We thought… I was worried that perhaps…”
“You haven’t answered my question. What are you doing here?”
“Are you alright, my love?”
“Your love? What in the Spirits are you talking about?!”
“Dennee, did something happen to you? You’re acting strangely.”
“I’m acting strangely? I’m acting strangely! I know exactly who you are, Darken Rahl. And you may have everyone else here fooled, but I won’t fall for your tricks!”
“Tricks? Dennee, we’re long past that now. Are you sure you’re alright? What happened to you? Where did you go?” he leaned towards her and cupped her face, “I’ve missed you.”
“I don’t know what kind of game you think you’re playing here but –” she took a step back, withdrawing from his touch.
“Dennee, I’m not your enemy. Not anymore.” He closed the space between them, took her hand in his and brought it up to eye level. She watched as their fingers entwined. She noticed the gold band on his finger. But her fingers were bare. He reached into his pocket with his other hand and brought out a beautiful ring.
“I found this out in the stable… I can’t imagine you’d leave it on purpose.” He smiled sweetly as he slipped it onto her finger and then kissed her hand softly.
“I… I don’t understand…” she said, staring blankly at the ring which now embraced her finger.
“Listen, Dennee. I know her death was hard on you. It was hard on me too. I think of her constantly… but that’s no excuse to… to abandon your son….”
“My son?” she asked, confused. That little boy, could he -? No. It was impossible. Giving birth was surely something she would remember.
“Our son, now.” He smiled.
“I don’t understand… who died? And when did I have a son… And when did I marry you?”
“You know who I’m talking about. You just don’t want to remember, because it hurts. I know that, I understand that… Michaela was our first… but she won’t be our last. We can try again…”
She felt tears spill down her face, though she wasn’t sure why. She had no memory of this Michaela, or this marriage, or that boy… But she was crying.
Darken wrapped her in a warm embrace. It was oddly comforting. She cried into his shoulder, hoping this was all just a terrible nightmare.
“I know this past year has been hard on you,” he rubbed her back and kissed the top of her head. “But we can get through this, like we have all those other times.”
“No we can’t.” She withdrew from his embrace, “No we can’t! Because I don’t have a clue what we are. And I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“Calm down, Dennee, we can figure this out. Just tell me where you were. You’ve been gone for over a month... Something must have happened to you…”
“I can’t! I can’t tell you where I was or what happened to me, because I don’t know! I don’t remember! I don’t remember any of this. I woke up two days ago in a strange place and in a strange body. This is just a nightmare… Yes, that’s all this is. A terrible, terrible nightmare! I need to wake up. I can’t take this any longer. I would never marry a tyrant like you! Let alone bear your children! Kahlan is the only one who could help me. Where is she? Where is my sister? What have you done with her? Where is she?! Answer me! Please… just, just answer me. Make it stop. Make it, make it stop…” she fell to her knees, tears spilling.
Darken leaned down to comfort her again, but she pushed him away.
“Where is my sister?!” she demanded, springing her head up venomously.
“Dennee,” he spoke softly, “Kahlan is… she died a few years ago… She and the Seeker, along with their wizard and Cara… She died a hero…”
She stared at him in shock, not believing a word of what he was saying. Kahlan wasn’t dead, she couldn’t be. She was Kahlan, the Mother Confessor. She was… her big sister…
“No, you’re lying.”
“No, I’m not. I’m sorry.”
“Then… that means…”
“You’re the last Confessor, the Mother Confessor.”
“And I’m married to the Lord Rahl…” even as she said it, she couldn’t believe it.
“Yes, yes you are.”
“And I have a son.”
“Edwin.” He said the name with pride.
“Edwin.” She repeated with a slight smile upon her face.
“But… what of this body? When did…” she swept her hands against her torso, still doubting it was her body, doubting any of this was even real.
“Magic. You died years ago, only to be resurrected by Mistress Denna.”
“And that’s how I came to this body?”
“That’s how you came to be Edwin’s mother.”
“I don’t… I don’t understand.”
“She had you brought into his mother’s body. And when she couldn’t be brought back, you took him as your own son.”
“I… this is unbelievable.”
“I know. You are an extraordinary woman,” he smiled as he caressed her cheek.
She couldn’t help but smile a little herself. She wondered how it was that a tyrant like Darken Rahl could come to be such a gentle man. More than that, she wondered why it felt so right being here, with him. She remembered nothing of their past, and yet, she felt for him. There was a strong bond between them, she could feel it, but she couldn’t explain it.
“What was her name? His mother.”
“Lucinda.” She repeated. “That’s what we should name our next child… Lucinda, or Lucy. In honor of this body, in honor of Edwin’s mother.” Dennee surprised herself, how could she possibly be thinking of children? Having children with Darken Rahl? This had to be a dream – a nightmare.
“That would be lovely.” He kissed her lips softly, she didn’t kiss him back, but she didn’t shy away from it either. “Though you should know, this isn’t Lucinda’s body.” She lifted an eyebrow at him, clearly confused. He chuckled softly. “I’m sorry my love, I know how terribly crazy this must all sound to you. Though I’d like to know how it is that you’ve come to lose memory of all this.”
“But… if this isn’t her body… then whose is it and how – why – would I have changed a third time?”
Darken let out a small sigh. “Lucinda was… an escort of sorts… She worked in Mistress Denna’s tavern… And well, when you came to be in her body… Let’s just say, people knew and they weren’t too happy about it... neither were you. And… let’s just say that a while after we became… close, we found a way to remedy the problem.”
“Oh…” she paused for a moment, absorbing it all. “So, whose body was this?”
“A woman who was once known by the name of Marian. She was both a warrior and a lady. Almost as courageous as yourself.”
Silence surrounded them for a moment. And then Dennee smiled.
“Lucinda Marian.” She said.
“Lucinda Marian Amnell Rahl. That will be the name of our next child.” She smiled at him.
“It’s perfect.” He smiled as he leaned in to kiss her.
“One more thing,” she stopped him before his lips could meet her own.
“How did… I mean, what happened to you, to us? How did this happen?”
“That, my love, is a long story. One for another night.” He leaned in once more, still hungry for one sweet kiss, but she shied away, momentarily, staring into his sparkling eyes.
Dennee didn’t know why she felt so comfortable with this man, nor did she know why she would be naming their future children when she couldn’t remember anything of the past few years. But despite all the confusion, at this very moment, Dennee was happy, and so finally, she gave in, caressing his lips with her own.
A week had passed and still she remembered nothing. Darken however, had been especially lovely to her. He never left her side for too long, and he was constantly telling her stories of the past few years they had spent together. It felt like a dream. Not a nightmare, a dream. He was too perfect. Sometimes to the point that it scared her. The last she remembered of Lord Rahl was the extent of his evil capabilities. That was the story she wanted most to hear. The story of how such an evil soul managed to redeem himself in such an incredible way. But each time she asked him to tell her, he would turn the conversation, and if she ever confronted him on it, he would go silent or reassure her that he would tell her some day. She knew it must have taken a lot from him, and that whatever happened must still pain him. She just hoped that if he didn’t tell her soon, then at the very least, her memory would return to her. Then she would know.