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Of Better Angels

Carol

The Next Morning, I stood in the watch tower, Glen had managed to find me a shot gun with a few rounds left. Watching over the landscape kept my mind for thinking about the things I probably should have bee. But those thoughts had been going around and around for so long now that they were driving me crazy. There weren’t many walkers left around the outside of the prison gates, in truth it was pointless that I was even up here. I sighed laid down my shot gun. Leaning against the wall I peered over the railing down at the quad bellow. I row of Graves, a few for the dead prisoners, one for Lori, and then another one. I lifted my head a bit and tilted my head. No one else was gone...there wasn’t any more bodies and surely the others hadn’t set up a grave ahead of time for one of us. They hadn’t lost that much hope. “So why?” escaped my lips, even from the height I was at I heard the careful yet slightly lead footed steps of Daryl. I watched him, as he headed for the spare grave He kneeled down before it “the hell, with this” I muttered, I had to go ask for myself.

My Shadow covered Daryl and the Grave as I stood behind him. I was quiet searching over the scene, a single pale pink blossom laid on the grave now. My face fell, “A Cherokee Rose” I said lowly, Daryl slowly got to his feet, and he wiped his hands clean of the dirt and turned to face me. I tore my eyes away from the grave and glared at him “I haven’t given up” He said quickly, although his voice was barely above a whisper “but the legend of the rose is” He grabbed my hands “I know what is it ok” He looked away from me and glanced back at the rose “It gave Carol hope back when we thought Sophia might have been ok...it kept her going, maybe it’ll keep her going now too” He said looking down at me from the corner of his eye. I shut my mouth, He was trying too hard to hide form me what he really thought, or maybe he was in denial with himself, but I could respect that He was lying in my face, because he didn’t want to see me fall apart. I nodded slightly “right” I said softly, he rest a hand on either of the arms, and lend his forehead to mine “Look, I don’t want you doing too much… I’ll look for Carol.” He started “I need you to take it easy, we still don’t know what caused your body to freak out and shut down…Michonne’s the only one who would know and well…she’s nowhere to be found yet” He said pulling back he looked at me sternly “and don’t go lookin’ around for your dogs, they’re smarter than some of us, hell, they’ll be ok, you’re bound to find them” He said cracking a small smile. I couldn’t help but smile as well, however it faded slowly “and Russell?” I asked. At this Daryl scowled “you still worried about that bastard? I kept your walker twins and pumped you full of whatever in the hell virus is making walkers…not to mention he’s gone stock raving mad!” He yelled his hands removed themselves from my arms. I puffed up like an angry cat “Because, He jus’ the man who I had, had two beautiful children, my husband, my first love, and was my best friend, from junior high age and up!” I said my voice slowly rising higher and higher with every word. “He was my first kiss, my first date, my first time” I said now counting down reasons of my fingers “He was the first person to dance with me and you know what!” I said my voice dripping in sarcasms and bitterness, “he made me the person who you seem too…” My smugness wore off “that’s right you don’t know that yet do you Bree….” I thought biting my lip, Daryl looked down at me with mild curiosity as I started to deflate “never mind that one, rather I’ll say this” I said with a slight pause “He’s the only one who showed he loved me for me…and even if that might have been just an act or a lie, I’ve got to believe it…Or else I’m no different the those Walkers…” I sighed I looked Daryl in the eyes for a moment. Wanting to get it, just too finally get it, but all I found was Confusion, slight anger, and what I though was hurt. Before he could open his mouth I walked away.

I walked back into the cellblock shortly after Hershel. “Dang, what happened to the two of you, yawl look like you live in the world full of Zombies” Maggie said laughing lightly trying to make the air a bit less heavy. “I don’t want to talk about it…” I said jadedly. “That’s just what rick said, He’s losing it…” Hershel sighed, “Can’t blame him…You and I Hershel, we know better than anyone else here, what it feels like to lose the love of your life, we both cracked ourselves.” I muttered Hershel nodded “I suppose you’re right” Hershel said before looking at me “But we came back from it” He added “you did anyway…I’ll never be right, truth is you’ll never be right…and the Rick we know…he’s gone” I added standing up “but that doesn’t mean that the new one can’t be just as good” I added turning to the gates “were are you going?” Hershel asked me, I turned back to face him “To talk to him” I said simply. “But Daryl said for you to rest” Beth called I stopped walking “and?” I said in a short bark before leaving behind the gate. I wandered through the halls of the prison trying to find the room, eventually I heard Ricks Voice, and He was on the phone with someone.

I slid into the room silently, and found him in an odd little office not far from the boiler room. I looked at him speechless as the phone looked to be out of order, the wires were frayed on the phone cord. Eventually I cleared my throat causing Rick to Jump slightly. “Bree” He said slowly setting down the phone almost reluctantly. I walked further into the room “um jus’ checkin’ up on you…you know the others are worried’bout you…Carl’s wondering where you’ve gone off too” I said as casually as possible. Rick refused to look me in the eye. “I heard you nearly beat up Glen…” I added “he came up behind me…I didn’t know” Rick stammered his eyes searching the room like he was a child lost in a forest. “it’s alright I suppose….look, I understand, what you are goin’ through…I jus’ need you to know….you can’t shut all the way down…your children need you….sane” I said turning to leave “I’m not saying don’t take time to heal…I’m jus’ sayin’…..do it as fast as you can.” I added leaving him there.

As I re-entered out cell block I was confronted by Daryl who looked like he was ready to hall of and strike me. “I told you to stay here” He said “I had to go check on Rick, He’s lossin’ it back there” I said brushing past him. Daryl grabbed my arm “I don’t know what sticks gotten itself lodge up your ass, but it’s not cute anymore, I’m serious, it’s a bad idea for you to be roaming off alone.” Daryl said his voice was so stern “sometimes you’re so hard headed…and Prideful” He added in ranting his frustrations with me “You should be the one to talk! Calling the damn kettle black!” I shot back ripping my arm out of his grasp. “I’m trying to keep you alive, or do you want to end up like Sophia! You wanna put Carol back through that!” His voice was rising and so was mine by now everyone was looking “Put her through what! She’s gone Daryl!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, glaring at him as hard as I could, standing on the tips of my toes daring him to defy me. All the while, tears welled at my eyelids “She’s gone, even you think so, you try to cover it up, that that’s why you put” My voice failed and cracked at the same time Daryl seemed to shrink back a bit “rose on her grave…that’s why she even has a grave…” I said never removing my glare. “that not why I did it I told you” Daryl said his voice had softened up, “You lie” I muttered “I didn’t lie what the hell would I do that for” He barked this time offended “because no one wants to look at a grown ass woman and well her, that the woman who became her best friend, the woman who became her mother is Dead, no one wants to tell me…my mother is dead…and I wasn’t around to stop it from happening” I said softly so that Carl would not hear, because even I knew his situation was far worse. “She ain’t dead, I’m not telling you again, I promise to find her and I will” Daryl said swinging his bow on his back. “I made a promise…” He added walking off. I looked on after him. As he walked to Oscar and Carl.

Maggie laid a hand on my shoulder and quickly brought me into a hug. The tears had hidden away and now refused to come out. “It’s going to be ok…just trust him” Maggie said. “If you only knew why I don’t” I said as she pulled away. “Maggie and I are going to make a run into town” Glenn called I nodded a bit and handed Maggie the shot gun I had been given earlier “you two be safe.” I said as she walked off. I turned around to see that Carl, Oscar and Daryl where gone. “Where’d the guys go?” I asked turning to face Beth and Hershel “searching the lower levels of the prison.” Hershel said simply holding the baby. I nodded and went to walk up to the upper cells “I’m exhausted…Wake me if I am needed” I murmured.

Meanwhile

As Daryl walked with Oscar and Carl all he could see in his head was Bree’s face, I hated to see her like that. The strong willed woman he knew was falling apart and there was nothing he could do about it. Her words played over and over in his head. He wanted all of these thoughts to go away he hated the silence, and he needed something else to focus on. Daryl soon found himself talking to Carl about the day his mother died a long time ago. It had been an accidental cigarette fire. “You know, she was just gone. Erased. People said it was better that way. I don't know. Just made it seem like it wasn't real, ya know? ” Daryl said he found himself rambling on slightly He looked down a Carl whose gaze was cold “I shot my mom. She was out. Hadn't turned yet. I ended it. It was real. ” Carl said before he kept walking. Daryl nodded “I’m sorry about your mom” Carl added Daryl looked down at the boy and nodded “sorry about yours” He replied and the two kept on searching. Carl looked up at Daryl he paused for a moment “You know” He said getting his attention “You should tell Bree that story one day….it might make her understand” Carl said before walking ahead of Daryl and bit. At this Daryl stopped walking. The fact was as much as he harped on her in the past for not telling him stuff about her past. Bree really didn’t know too much about his either. Just the things that made good stories at night.

Daryl’s thoughts were pushed back as the gurgling groans of a walker pierced into his ears. The three of looked at it for a moment as it crept closer to them. Carl shot it down dead. As they went to walk by it Daryl noticed something sticking out of the side of its neck. “Come on lets head back” Carl called out over to Daryl, but his eyes were locked on the knife in the walkers neck, Carol’s knife. Carl and Oscar had headed back to the cellblock. They hadn’t noticed Daryl was not following. He slowly slid down the wall stabbing the floor in frustration and anger with the knife. The truth was Bree was right, He had thought Carol was dead, but he had hoped he was wrong, that she was wrong. He didn’t want to fail anyone again, not after Sophia and the barn, not after Merle, not after his mother. He couldn’t even think on how he was to return to her, not empty handed but with a knife, proof that she was right and that he had lied to her, he wasn’t going to return to her with another promise he wasn’t able to keep, he wasn’t going to be another Merle. In anger he kicked the knife over to a door that was slightly cracked open and hung his head in his hands. The door moved slightly with a squeak shortly after. Daryl rose his head expecting a walker and got to his feet quickly grabbing the knife he swung open the door ready to stab it. As he went to bring the knife down he stopped. His heart stopped beating, was she dead? She moved slightly and groaned, a smile found itself on Daryl face. No she was alive, He quickly dropped the knife and picked Carol up gently in his arms, holding close, he made for the cellblock. He could keep his promise.

With Bree

“Bree” Beth called I awoke form my sleep or what should have been my sleep and rolled off of the cell bunk. “What you need?” I asked dryly “Ricks back” She said leading me out of the cell and down to the main level of our cellblock. I cautiously looked at Rick as he held the baby in his arms. He looked at me briefly and nodded a bit before looking back down at his baby girl. We as a group followed him as he led us to the courtyards and into the sun light. Walkers surrounded the outside of the prison gates. Two figures covered in blood they walked among the walkers, and from a distance we could not tell if they were survivors or walkers as well. I mean after all…if they were living how where they standing in the middle of the walkers unnoticed by them. As we looked on trying to figure this out, the walkers slowly began to turn on the two, now it was clear they were survivors. Rick, Carl, and I ran towards the gate, Hershel tossed me a metal pole to work with. As I got closer to the gate my heart beat rushed. One of the two survivors was Michonne.

Carl and Rick led the way through the gate we closed it behind us quickly. The Man that had been with Michonne had gotten separated from her in the frenzy of walkers. “Over here!” I called out to him, swinging the poll into the walker’s head as hard as I could. It sunk into the flesh of his rotting forehead, smashing his brains, and killing it. “Thank you” the man said hiding behind me, He had a deep cockney accent. “Don’t mention it” I said quickly leading the way to Michonne, who now lay on the ground passed out. Rick, Carl and I cleared the Walkers around her. Rick swung her onto his shoulders and made a run for the gates. I urged Carl who had grabbed the box of formula that Michonne was carrying and the other man into the gates ahead of me. We all rushed back into the Prison, Rick laid Michonne down in the common room of the prison just outside of our cellblock. “Who the hell are you?” Oscar asked the man that had been with her as Rick managed to wake Michonne up. “Michonne!” I cheered hugging her, but pulling back quickly as I saw she was wounded. “What happened?” I asked. “Pliny…Pliny Connolly” The man said sounding a bit fearful. “He helped me…he’s ok” Michonne managed to get out but her voice was hoarse. “I’ll be the judge of that” Rick said eying Pliny carefully.

Daryl entered the area and looked at all of us, his eyes landed on the newcomer for a moment before falling on me. “there’s something you guys gotta see” he said dryly, yet in his eyes I could see he was hiding something, I was in no mood to see whatever he had found, god only knew what it was. I opted to stay and watch over Michonne and Pliny. “Michonne what happened to you?” I asked looking over her and Pliny. Pliny had a gunshot wound to his side he had managed to wrap it a bit but it was bleeding through. And Michonne had a wound to her leg, she kept quiet and looked off to the side, “you can tell me…and where is Andrea?” I asked Michonne shook her head, “Russell?” I asked a bit softer, Michonne glanced at me from the corner of her eyes and went to speak “Bree!” I heard Beth call out, I 6turned to face her she held a big smile on her face as she ran to me, she grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet “come on, come on…you’ve gotta come see!” She called out in complete and utter joy, I followed her in confusion “Beth are you ok? What’s going on?” I asked thinking she had finally lost it completely. Beth merely smiled at me and then looked up at the stairs. I followed her gaze, and found myself speechless. I watched Carol walk down the stairs with a smile on her face. She looked tired, worn out, hungry, and dehydrated, but that smile was the best thing my eyes had ever seen. “C-carol?” I cracked she nodded and held out her arms. It felt like I was 5 years old all over again after my first day in Kindergarten, running to my foster mother’s arms, as I took off in a sprint towards Carol. She expected me to fall in her arms, but to her surprise in one quick movement I managed to scoop her up into mine. I shock her, myself and everyone else I would assume. For now my body forgot just how small I actually was or how skinny I was. Carol laughed and wrapped her arms around my neck as I fussed over her “how?” I managed to get out. “I had a knife… and I’ve learned a lot over the past three years on how to deal with walkers…and then there was Daryl” She said as I put her back down. “Daryl?” I asked barely above a whisper. She nodded and smiled as my eyes trailed back to the stairs. I found his blue eyes staring at me, as if saying I told you so. I felt like I had smacked myself in the face, He was right, Maybe He hadn’t been lying to me, and maybe I should have given him more credit. Or maybe the man I thought was there, the one I thought had gone or had never existed was really there the whole time.

Whatever it was in my thoughts I had not noticed I had climbed the stairs, I found myself standing before him, he looked down at me blankly. “Daryl” I whispered, as he went to speak I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him. He drew in a sharp breath and tensed up before resting his body and wrapping his arms around me. “Thank you” I said through a shaky voice “that you for proving me wrong…thank you for bringing her back” I said. Daryl nodded “I wasn’t going to lose you both at the same time…” He said at this I arched a brow, what did he mean lose us both at the same time. “You woulda died had she not come back, not physically because your two proud for that, but on the inside…you’d basically be like those walkers out there” He said I smiled a bit for lack of knowing what else to do. Carol came up behind me and hugged me again, this caused me to laugh and bit “you should rest, come on, I’ll make you something to eat” I said leading her back down to the main level. I felt better, like a bit of life was breathed into me. Carol was Alive and Michonne was back, and now I had a little more faith restored in Daryl.

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