Dixons Don't Cry
He woke up a little dazed. Where the hell was he? He looked around with his eyes. It was a tent, that was for sure, which was strange to him since he had been holed up in his family's thrift shop since the beginning.
Memories of when he was last awake flooded through him and tears sprang to his eyes, half from the pain of watching his family fall apart and the pain from all over his body, where he had been cut and stabbed. He quickly wiped his eyes with a sniff, holding the tears back. There was no need for tears. He would avenge his family, somehow, but for his little sister right now, he had to stay strong. He did not know whether she was alive or not since she had ran, and his brother was taken. There was no guarantee, even though the sinking feeling in his stomach, and the lack of connection in his mind made him doubt.
"Oh, ya awake!" He looked to the opening of the tent, and the face of the girl who saved him was there. She looked cleaned up from when he last remembered, her face smeared with blood along with her hands and clothes because of his blood. She was changed though, into a blue and black plaid vest, and her hair was up. She smiled lightly down at him as she crawled into the tent. His eyes couldn't help but go down to her ass as she turned to zip the tent up.
He averted his eyes when she turned back and crawled over him, and he now noticed the small bag on her arm. His blue eyes went to her face. She was pretty, hell, beautiful even. Her skin was lightly tanned and her hair was dark, which off-set her blue eyes. Her face was made of sharp angles, half from structure and the other half probably from hunger.
Her laugh snapped him out of his daydream, and he felt a bit embarrassed that he'd been staring. She started messing with the bag and pulled out a cloth and a bottle of water. She started to unscrew the bottle when she asked," How ya feelin'?"
"Fine," he spoke, his voice a bit hoarse from the dryness in his throat. The girl nodded and wet the cloth, and started to wipe his forehead. He closed his eyes at the feeling and sighed; he didn't realize how warm he really was. "Ya gonna tell me ya name? Think it's the least ya could do for me savin' ya ass," she said with a small smile. Nick opened his eyes and the corner of his mouth tugged; it had been a while since he had heard teasing.
"Nick Saunders," Nick told her.
She nodded as she looked back to the cloth to wet it some more. "Tessa Dixon." She began to wipe his face again, and then trailed down to where he noticed he was shirtless and bandaged up. She was wiping away sweat and at the scabs as she spoke," Gotcha back here just in time. Hershel was able to stitch up ya stab wound, but the rest of them cuts were just too small. They might scar, but we were careful. I donated blood to ya too, ya lost a lot of it. You should be okay now, so we moved ya to me and my uncle's tent. House is a bit crowded right now."
He nodded, just watching her. He liked the way she spoke, her southern drawl. Hell, it didn't hurt that she was fine too. He hadn't been around people other than his family since this outbreak started. "Ya probably would have had an infection, but we had some leftovers of my dad's... medicine." She said medicine a bit bitterly, and Nick couldn't help but wonder why her face turned sour, but as quick as it arrived, the look was gone, and her face went calm again. Nick hissed as she wiped near his stab wound--now all stitched up--and she apologized.
"S'okay," Nick told her. After a short pause, he asked with a small smirk," Tessa short for somethin'?" He found himself a bit curious, and he was naturally a talker.
"Is Nick?" she mocked, and he grinned at her. She took out a bottle of prescription pills from the bag and dumped out one into her hand. She placed her things down and helped him sit up against the two pillows, before handing him the water and the pill. He downed the pill with the water, and then drained it.
Nick took a breath after he drank. "Nicholas," he answered before smiling his dorky smile," Your turn."
Her cheeks went red and she shook her head. Nick grinned again, getting a satisfaction from making her blush. "Contessa," she told him as she packed the pills back.
"Can I call you Connie?"
"Call me Connie and I'll feed ya to the walkers, pretty boy." Nick chuckled, remembering how she said that as she dragged him out of the store.
"Connie it is then," Nick smirked and winked.
Tessa laughed and shook her head. "If I didn't risk my ass to save you, I'd kill ya right now."
"You like me too much already to do that," Nick smiled.
To his surprise, she rolled her eyes and sighed. "Yeah, I think I do."
"Green, yours?" I answered and asked him, now laying again my uncle's pillow. We had been in the tent for hours, asking random questions. Some were simple like favorite food or color, and others got deep like worst memory at school or any death in the family.
"Blue," he answered. I nodded, and I bit my lip looking into his blue eyes. I'd be lying if I said Nick wasn't attractive, but hell, anybody with eyes would be able to admit that. Just one good look at him and you should be sold on that. "What's your story? How'd you get here when all this started?" Nick asked, and I sighed.
I went on to tell him everything, about how we were watching the emergency broadcast and drove to Atlanta, how my dad got us hooked up at a Quarry, which he wanted to rob blind, but we never got to that idea because of his drug use--which I know knew about when Uncle Daryl gave me the medicine for Nick, and now I was mad at him because he knew Dad was using. How dad got left on the roof and cut off his own hand, and how my 'friend' Amy was killed. I told him that we buried Dad's hand at the quarry and left for the CDC, and I told him about how there was no cure and how it was gone. Nick's face fell at that, and I only nodded and placed my hand on his, understanding that it was insane that there was no more hope. His large hand wrapped around mine, and stayed that way as I explained Sophia and how she went missing and that Carl was shot, which was how we ended up here and all of this crazy shit went down.
"And then on the run, I went and saved you," I finished, and he nodded. "What about you?" I asked, my eyes on our hands. His thumb was absentmindedly stroking my palm, and I didn't stop it, feeling comforted. He looked away as he sighed himself, and shook his head.
"We basically took everything from our house and went to our store and holed up there. Dad was bitten, and turned when we had no idea what it was at first. We boarded up and hid in there, just surviving. My twin brother Danny and I would go scavenge for food and water, while Mom and Lisa would stay and get things ready, organizing or cleaning, y'know?" I nodded, bringing my knees up to my chest and scooting closer. Nick continued," We were fine for a while, none of the zombies or walkers like you call 'em gave up many problems. Gracelyn was only fourteen, she was afraid of them like nothing else. Danny and I took care of them if there was a problem." Nick squeezed his eyes shut as if the next memory was painful, and through gritted teeth he continued.
"Those bastards came in trying to act polite, offered us to join them. Dan said no, that we were fine, but they didn't like that. Kept trying to act nice, but finally one of them snapped and made a comment about Gracie, and I went after him. He took out a knife and started swinging it at me, how I got all the cuts. Grace got freaked and ran outside past all those guys, but I don't know what happened to her. Fucker stabbed me and shoved me down, hurt like a fucking bitch. Shot at Mom when she tried to run to me, hit her. They grabbed Danny and left, Mom was screaming. Then she stopped, I knew she died..." he trailed off and I leaned my head on his arm, sympathy rolling off of me. Fucking people did that, not walkers, not the enemy, people. It made me sick to my stomach.
"Thought I was gonna bleed out, felt all dizzy," he said softly. I felt his hand in my hair, tugging at my ponytail. "Then you came along, and helped me."
"Just doin' what was right," I whispered to him, my cheeks heating lightly.
"Nah," he chuckled. "You were doin' what was stupid, and wrong, but it was good."
I looked up to look at his face, and he was smiling lightly at me. I smiled back too, and then sat up. "You hungry?"
"Starved," he groaned. I chuckled and shook my head. I shuffled over to the duffle bags and dug through the one Uncle Daryl had found with men's clothes. I yanked out a shirt and threw it to him and heard him start putting it on.
I turned back around and he was wincing as he tugged it on and over his chest. The tight black shirt fit just right. "Come on, pretty boy, let's go get ya somethin' to eat. Hope a like squirrel."
"You got meat?" Nick asked in disbelief, and I smiled and nodded.
"My uncle hunts for us, I haven't gone 'cus I was takin' care of you. Let's go meet everyone. Rick has to ask ya some questions to see if we can trust ya, but I'm on watch duty for ya," I told him, remembering how Rick put me in charge of making sure he wasn't dangerous. I knew that he wasn't even before Nick told me his family story, but I was still on watch. Uncle Daryl had scoffed about me bringing another mouth to feed, but I knew he was frustrated because we hadn't found Sophia yet.
I helped Nick get steady on his feet before we both exited the tent. He looked around the farm before I motioned him to follow. Carol was sitting at the fire pit and talking with Lori. "Hey, ladies," I called to them, and they both turned and smiled. I motioned to the man next to me and introduced," This is Nick Saunders."
"Pleasure to meet you, ladies," Nick said, tipping an invisible hat to them. They both smiled and stood.
Carol held out her hand, which Nick took and kissed, making Carol blush. I rolled my eyes. "Carol," she told him, to which he nodded. He pulled the same shtick with Lori, with the same result. I grabbed his shoulder and pulled him away from the blushing women. "Come on pretty boy. Plus, I want Hershel to check your stitches," I looked back to Carol and Lori and asked," By the way, where is everyone?"
"Daryl's out looking for Sophia, Rick is inside with Carl and Hershel, and I think the rest are at the RV," Carol told me, and I looked to the RV to see Andrea perched up there. I raised my eyebrows at that, but shrugged it off. Whatever kept her feeling important. "We're going to be cooking the Greene's a meal tonight, if you want to join and help," she added. I laughed and shook my head.
"I'd be better suited out of the kitchen," I told her. Carol shrugged.
"Figured as much." I nudged Nick to follow me, and I led him to the Greene house. He was looking around at everything in wonder and I chuckled.
"Pretty damn nice, ain't it?"
"Place doesn't even looked touched," he commented. I slowed my pace to keep up with his slow, limping one.
I nodded. "Practically is. Fresh fruit, cows, chickens, full damn farm. Showers too." He stopped and looked at me in shock at this one, and I teased," What? Cloth bathing ain't good enough for you?"
He smirked at me and winked. "Oh it's great, having you wipe me down." My cheeks went completely red and I started stuttering. Is this how fucking Glenn feels when I fuck with him? Nick snorted and punched me in the shoulder lightly. "I'm just fuckin' with you Connie." My blush stayed on my face, but now I had a small smile as we reached the Greene household's door.
"What'd I say about callin' me Connie?"
"When did I say I cared?" he mocked. I rolled my eyes and led him inside. I could hear Beth singing from the room above, and figured she and Jimmy were up there hanging out. I walked to the room where Carl was and saw that Hershel and Rick were by the window. I knocked on the door lightly and the two looked to me.
"Am I interrupting somethin'?" I asked, stepping into the room slowly.
"Not at all, young lady," Hershel said, and looked behind me at Nick. "I see you're up and about, young man."
"Nick Saunders, sir," he introduced as we moved into the room. He shook Hershel's hand as Hershel introduced himself back. "I can't thank you enough for stitching me up," Nick told him.
"Don't thank me, thank her. She brought you here," Hershel said, pointing to me. Nick moved to Rick and shook his hand as well. The two started talking in low voices, and I awkwardly stood when I heard a small voice from the bed.
"Tess?" I turned to the bed and looked at Carl, who looked a hell of a lot better.
"Hey bud! How you feelin'?"
"Good! Wanna see it?" he asked excitedly. I cringed and bit but smiled still and shook my head.
"Maybe later, kid. I'm showing Nick here around." I sat on the bed and squeezed his leg. "Nice hat there by the way," I teased, leaning forward and flicking the brim. He straightened it instantly with a wide smile.
"Dad gave it to me, Hershel said I should be up by tomorrow!"
I smiled and nodded at him. "That's good, kid. When you're feelin' better I'll see what I can do about teachin' ya ta skin."
"Coooooool!" Carl smiled, and I shook my head and squeezed his leg again. He's a good kid.
Lori came in a minute later, with a towel. "Carl awake?"
"Yeah mom!" he replied. Rick said he was going to go check with everybody outside, and kissed Carl and Lori and gave me a smile before he left. Lori took a place on the other side of Carl and started to wet a cloth like I had done for Nick earlier. Hershel sat Nick down in the chair and had him lift his shirt so he could check the stitches. I turned so I was facing them, watching Hershel work.
Okay, so I was really watching Nick. Which he noticed and winked at me. So I looked away and started asking Hershel about stitches. He answered me, not noticing the awkward looks Nick and I kept shooting to each other.
As Hershel was asking Nick a few questions about his injury and how he procured it, we heard a loud gun shot. I looked to the window and stood up and saw a crowd of our men in the field. We all left the room except for Carl and ran out of the house.
"What on earth's going on out here?" Hershel yelled to them once he stopped. I could hear Rick screaming "No!" from out in the field. The sun was blinding my sight; I held up a hand to cover my eyes from the sun and looked out to the distance. Andrea and Dale were running towards the men, who were dragging something along. It looked like a walker, but if they were dragging it, it couldn't have been. As they all got closer, my mouth dropped.
"Oh God, NO!" I screamed the last part, and started running towards the field. "UNCLE DARYL!" I screamed louder, the blood pounding in my ears. Oh God, no no no no. Was he dead? Did they kill his walker form? They all stopped and I could see somebody holding up something, but I couldn't tell because of the sun in my eyes. "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?" I yelled out to them as I approached. They were silent, except for Andrea, who came towards me crying.
"I didn't know! I didn't know!" she tried to grab my shoulder, but I yanked my arm out of her grasp. She shot him? I didn't even have to think as I punched her as hard as I could in the face, and then pounced on her.
There is a sickening pleasure when you punch somebody in an angered state. I felt blood on my hand, but I was seeing red, and could hardly hear the cries of people around me. She killed my only family, I wanted her to hurt, and that was all I knew. I felt arms yank me off of her, and I still tried to swing as she was helped up and I was restrained. "He's alive! He's alive!" T-Dog screamed in my ear, dragging me away from her, who was being held back by Dale. Dale's face was one of shock and horror, and Andrea was bloody.
I wiped away the oncoming tears and screamed at her as T-Dog dragged me away," You're fuckin' lucky! Sleep with one eye open ya trigga-happy cooze! I'll fuckin' end ya!"
"Tess, calm the hell down!" Glenn said, now that T-Dog was dragging me closer to the group. My breathing went heavy and I looked to the house, where they were dragging Uncle Daryl into it, followed by his family. Nick was walking quickly towards us. I looked at Glenn and he placed his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes. "Tess! He's alive!"
I held in my tears, just gasping. T-Dog's grip on me released slightly, and his hand started rubbing my arm in a comforting gesture. I closed my eyes and held my face to the ground, just trying to keep my tears in. I was done crying; I had cried too much, or at least it felt like it.
"Connie!" Nick breathed out to me as he finally approached.
"Connie?" Glenn's voice asked. "What is that?"
"That's what I call her!"
"She lets you?"
"Hell no she doesn't!" I could hear the grin in his voice, and it made me laugh a bit too. I looked up to the two of them. Glenn looked concerned, but Nick had a stupid smirk on his face. Half of me wanted to slap it off, but the other half of me liked that he wasn't looking at me with pity.
"Come on Con," Nick nodded his head towards the house, and I nodded slowly. T-Dog released me and the four of us made our way to the farm house. Only I entered, the rest staying at the door. As I left the three men, I swore I heard T-Dog ask," How the hell did you get her to let you call her Connie?" I rolled my eyes and walked in, and turned into the unoccupied room.
"Son of a bitch!" I heard Uncle Daryl snap, to which Hershel promptly told him to watch his language. I stood in the doorway and leaned against it. "Well 'scuse me, but you--agh!--stitchin' me--FUCK!--up without anything!"
"Shut up, Uncle Daryl," I finally said. His head turned awkwardly to look at me, and he had a small smile seeing me. I pushed myself off the doorframe and walked to the other side of the room so her didn't have to crane his neck. I sat down on the bed, next to where Rick was kneeling. I placed a hand on his arm and looked to Rick a bit nervously. "Uh, next time ya see Andrea, I swear I didn't mean to."
Rick shook his head and said in a low voice," We're gonna talk to her later." I nodded, and then looked to Shane who was sitting in the corner, looking at me strangely.
"Gotta problem?" I asked him. He motioned towards my face, and I wiped at it again. He snorted, and I glared, but then I noticed my hands. They were covered in Andrea's blood. "Oh," I said and bit my lip.
"Gettin' in more fights, Tess?" Uncle Daryl teased. I glared at him playfully and rolled my eyes.
"I won't tolerate fighting on my land, Tessa," Hershel said in a warning tone, now wiping Uncle Daryl's fresh stitches clean.
"Yessir," I answered, tipping an invisible hat to him, much like Nick had done earlier. Plus, I didn't exactly fight her. I just beat the snot out of her.
"Found Sophia's doll," Uncle Daryl grunted to me. I looked at him sharply, my eyes wide. "I found it washed up on the creek bed right there," he pointed to a spot on the map.
"She musta dropped it crossing there somewhere," I said, my voice growing in excitement.
"Cuts the grid almost in half."
"Yeah, you're welcome," Uncle Daryl said, and I smacked his arm. Dick.
"How's he lookin' Doc?" I asked Hershel.
"I had no idea we'd be going through the antibiotics so quickly," he commented, finishing up the stitches and moving to the basin to wipe his hands. "Any idea what happened to my horse?"
"The one who almost killed me? If it's smart, it left the country!" I rolled my eyes again at Uncle Daryl. He and Dad were just the same when injured: major assholes. I remember Dad made me clean the kitchen just because he said the mess was making his stitches ache. Bribed me with going to the homecoming football game.
"We call that one Nelly, as in nervous Nelly. I could have told you she'd throw you if you bothered to ask. It's a wonder you people have survived this long," Hershel said.
I looked down to Uncle Daryl in disbelief. "You stole the horse?"
"Was gonna bring it back, stupid snake scared it and it bucked me off and ran. Tumbled down a hill and got an arrow stuck in mah side," he said softly to me, the two of us tuning out the others in the room. I nodded, and the others left the room except for Hershel. "I saw Merle, came to me in my head I guess."
"You... saw him?" I asked softly. He had hallucinated seeing Dad?
"You feel safe?" he ignored my question.
My eyebrows furrowed. "Yeah, I feel safe, safer than ever especially," I answered.
"Merle... Merle said that I wasn't keepin' ya safe," he said quietly, averting his Dixon blue eyes from my own. I ran my hand over his hair, looking where Hershel had cleaned up his bullet graze.
"I'd say you ain't the safe one." He rolled his eyes at me, but a small smirk was on his face.
Dale came in to check on Uncle Daryl briefly, leaving without even looking at me. Uncle Daryl questioned me on this, and I figured it was because of what I did to Andrea. Hershel had me wash the blood smears off my face and hands in the basin. I sat with Uncle Daryl through him bitching as Hershel stitched up his bullet graze and I wrapped in in gauze for him.
"Knock knock." I turned to see Nick standing at the door, a loose fitting button-up now on, and not shirtless. "Patricia says it's time for dinner," he said, his eyes settling on me and Uncle Daryl.
Hershel looked to Nick and nodded at him. "Thank you, son," he then turned to Uncle Daryl and sternly told him," Someone will bring you food, no leaving this bed."
"Was plannin' ta sleep anyways," Uncle Daryl bit back.
I rolled my eyes and looked to Nick, who had that stupid smirk. "Now I see where Connie gets it from," he teased me more than Uncle Daryl.
Uncle Daryl turned his head to look at him. "Connie?" he questioned. I shook my head and leaned down to kiss his cheek. I stood and glared at Nick. I shoved his shoulder as I walked out.
"What tha hell did I say about that?"
I didn't have to look at him to know he had a smirk on his face.
There wasn't enough chairs in the dining room even with two tables, so we volunteered to sit on the floor. I had to help him sit because it hurt to crutch his chest, but other than that, we had fun flicking food at each other when nobody was looking. I held back a smirk looking at Andea's bruised face; it felt good. There was a lot of awkward tension when Glenn asked about the guitar and Hershel said Otis could play, but Nick broke that awkward tension by saying he could play too, and said he would play one night for everybody. Beth said she would sing too, and that diffused the awkwardness a bit. When we all finished and cleaned up the kitchen, the non-Greenes flooded out of the house.
"Since Uncle Daryl's in the house tonight, you can sleep in our tent until we get you one. You can take his cot," I told Nick, biting my lip nervously. For some reason, I expected him to say no, but I had no idea why. My stomach twisted, and I shook my head. Stupid. "I'm sure Dale will let ya stay in the RV, I-"
"Thank you, I appreciate it. Everything," he told me, sounding serious for once. I felt my cheeks heat, and I looked away.
"Lead the way, Connie!" he said after a minute, throwing an arm around my shoulder.
"What did I fuckin' say about callin' me Connie, pretty boy?" I snapped jokingly to him, trying to keep my heart steady at the contact. It was easier to take physical contact with others now, but this was different. I felt comfortable and uncomfortable with it.
I looked at him and saw the wide smirk on his face as he pulled me closer. "I haven't been fed to walkers yet, pretty lady."
NotesI love Nick, does anybody else? He sure is a card; I hope you're picking up on the similarities between him and Tess. They'll be the best of friends I'm sure... :3 I laugh writing stuff for him, especially the Connie thing, like, omg I just can't handle the cuteness of him, especially when picturing Liam Hemsworth saying it, since he is who I chose for Nick. :3 OH, and I don't know if you can tell, but I really hate Andrea. Especially during this episode.
Vote and leave feedback please! I might have a Straw Poll soon, because I'm going to need an opinion on something... so keep tuned so you can help out!