Dixons Don't Cry
"Uh, guys?" We all looked to Glenn who was now standing. It had been a day since Uncle Daryl was shot, and he was now sitting outside with us. I had spent the morning with him and Hershel, checking on his wounds, and the other half with Nick doing chores around the farm. Nick managed to piss me off by getting chicken egg in my hair, but then made up for it later by bringing me fruits and a sheepish smile. I forgave him after I cracked an egg on his head and ate the stupid peach. Now we were all outside eating our breakfast, not really any conversation going on. I was sitting in a new armchair (Glenn and Maggie picked up a tent and chair for Nick on a run yesterday) while Nick sat on the root of the tree next to me.
"What is it Glenn?" I asked after taking a mouthful of eggs into my mouth.
"The barn is full of walkers."
I started choking on my eggs. Nick started slapping my back, and finally I could breathe again. Everybody was freaking out now, and nobody seemed to notice my almost dying scene right there. Thanks guys, I care about you all too. It was silent in the group, everybody just looking at each other, not really knowing what to say. Shane stood first and started to run to the barn. I tossed my plate to the side and got up to start running too, but Nick grabbed my wrist as he stood. Oh yeah, he can't run good yet. "Come on pretty boy," I muttered, and we started running at his pace, which compared to mine, wasn't very fast.
We slowed as we got to the barn and Shane was stepping back from peeking inside. "You can't tell me you're alright with this!" Shane said to Rick, his voice filled with worry and anger. I guess there were walkers in the barn for real, not that I thought Glenn was lying.
"No, I'm not! But we're guests here! This isn't our land!"
"This is our lives!"
"Keep your voice down," Glenn spoke up.
"What are we talkin'? How many are in there?" I asked, stopping as Nick and I entered into the group.
Shane shook his head. "Too hard to tell. There ain't just a couple in there I can tell you that." I let out a deep breath and ran my hands through the strands hanging out of my hair-tie.
"We can't just sweep this under the rug!" Andrea said. For once, I agreed with her. I looked at the blonde and saw her bruises on her face changed from red to purple. Oops.
"It ain't right, not remotely," Shane said. "Okay, we've got to make things right or we've just got to go. Now we've been talkin' about Fort Benning for a long time-"
"We can't go!" Rick shouted.
"Why Rick, why?!"
"Because my daughter is still out there," Carol spoke, stepping forward. I looked to Shane, who was huffing and rubbing his face with his hands.
"Okay. Okay, I think it's time that we all start to just consider the possibility-"
"We're not leaving Sophia behind." Rick was completely serious in his tone. I agreed with Rick and Carol, we couldn't leave without Sophia, but we couldn't just let the walker thing go. I didn't even feel safe with the damn locks all over the barn door.
Nick spoke up, shaking his head," We can't leave a little girl behind." I nodded, thinking about his little sister that he said ran off.
"I'm close to finding this girl. I just found her damn doll two days ago!" Uncle Daryl yelled, frustrated.
"You found her doll, Daryl! That's what you did, you found a doll!"
"You don't know what the hell you're talkin' about!" Oh God, I was not getting a good feeling from this. Uncle Daryl and Shane got closer.
"I'm just saying what needs to be said!" If Deputy Dipshit knew what was best, he'd back away. "You get a good lead, it's in the first 48 hours! Let me tell you something else man, if she was alive out there and saw you coming all methed out with your knife and geek ears around you neck, she would run in the other direction!"
"Shut the fuck up Shane!" I yelled, stepping forward towards him. He turned towards me and practically spat in my face as he yelled," Stay the fuck out of this, girl!"
"Hey don't talk to her that way!" Nick yelled at him, pulling me back behind him. Then all hell broke lose as Uncle Daryl and Shane started fighting, Nick trying to pull them apart along with Rick, the others yelling for them to stop, and me trying to get in the middle but kept getting pushed back by Nick. What the fuck, I could take care of myself, where did he get off pushing me back? Finally they got the pair away from each other, Shane and Uncle Daryl all fuming. Nick stepped back to me and put his hand on my shoulder, but I shoved him off and gave him a look. He raised his arms in confusion as I shook my head and threw my arms back up at him, always the mature one.
Rick said he would talk to Hershel, which I agreed with, but really I thought we should just start packing right then and there. Especially after Dale said Hershel thought the walkers were real people. I shook my head and started to walk away from all this bullshit, ready to pack up, when the barn doors started rattling. I turned back to look at the door shake, and I felt the color leave my face. We couldn't stay here with that barn full, there was no way.
We all went separate ways. I left Nick in the dust as I started off towards the tents. "Tess, Tess!" he was calling behind me, but I ignored him. I didn't know why he pissed me off, but his pulling me back just did me in. I could take care of myself, I didn't need some guy to protect me.
I reached where the tents were, but had to go farther back because of where Uncle Daryl decided to place it. I started to unzip the door, but Nick's hand landed on my shoulder and turned me around. "What?" I asked, annoyance dripping from my voice.
He scoffed and shook his head. "Can you explain to me what I did to piss you off?" I rolled my eyes and turned back to the tent.
"No!" he turned me back around and I smacked his hand. "Don't put your hands on me!" I sneered at him. He rolled his eyes.
"God, Tess, I don't know what I did-"
"I can take care of myself, you didn't have to push me behind you. I've dealt with Deputy Dipshit before, and-"
"You're pissed because I didn't want you to get hit by Shane? He was going crazy, Tess! I just didn't want him to hit you!" We just stood there, looking at each other, not saying anything. His face softened, and he sighed. I bit my lip, not knowing what to say, but my filter was not up when I started again.
"I don't even know you, I don't need ya to-"
"Don't know me? I don't know you, if this is how you act. You were nice, but now you're just... whatever Tess," he waved a hand at me and started to walk off. I got angry that he was walking off. I felt bad, but I wasn't going to let him know that. "Where the hell you goin'?" I yelled after him.
He turned and started walking backwards, raising his arms in the air and said in a mocking tone," Lettin' you take care of yourself!" He turned back around and ignored me calling after him. I shoved my face into my hands and let out a frustrated scream. I unzipped the tent and stormed in. Fucking Nick and his stupid face.
I sat on my cot and huffed out. I pulled my hair out of its tie and let it fall down around my shoulders. It was getting long, and my fringe was now grown out beyond belief. I ran a hand through it, feeling how greasy it felt. I sighed and figured maybe Beth could sneak me into the bathroom to get washed up later. I laid back on the cot and closed me eyes.
Okay, maybe Nick was just being nice, and I'd been a total bitch. But I didn't need him coming into here and protecting me, I wasn't his to protect. Hell, I had Uncle Daryl and he was enough to protect me. But maybe he wasn't protecting me. Like he said, Shane was getting rowdy, and me stepping in wasn't exactly the best idea. All Nick had done was pull me back so I didn't get hurt in the situation I threw myself in. I had a bad habit of letting the Dixon temper take over and putting myself in situations.
I sighed. Goddammit, Nick had been right. I didn't know if I should apologize or not. I sat up and started to climb out of the tent. I could go talk to Maggie about it, but she might be busy. I needed a guy's input, so I got out of the tent and started towards the RV where Glenn was.
"Hey Tess," I heard a small voice say. I looked to see Carl sitting with Lori, working on problems. I stopped and changed my path to him. He was finally able to get up and about, and yesterday at the gun training, he was a little natural.
"Hey, kid, how ya feelin'?" I smiled down at him.
He shrugged. "I feel better. When are you gonna teach me to skin?" I looked to Lori and she smiled with a roll of her eyes. I grinned at her before ruffling Carl's hair. "Soon as possible. I'll tell Uncle Daryl right now to let me have the next catch to skin." Looks like I'm abandoning my first mission. New mission, find Uncle Daryl.
"Cool!" Carl beamed. Lori chuckled and told him to get back to his problems. I nodded at her before walking off, now set to find Uncle Daryl. I walked to the RV where Glenn was sitting on top of it. I was going to ask him to talk, but now I knew I should talk to Uncle Daryl first, wherever he was.
"Hey Glenn!" I called up to him, holding a hand to block the sun. "Where's your hat, Short Round?" He was wearing Dale's old thing. Now he couldn't exactly be Short Round. He grumbled out something about Maggie, but I couldn't understand him. "Look, you seen Uncle Daryl?" I asked him, cutting to my point. I'd come back to him later.
"Uhh," Glenn looked around and then pointed to the distance. "I think he went out to the horse stables, I think."
"Fuckin', he's going out again!" I swore, and turned to head over there. He was gonna bust his damn stitches. "Thanks Glenn!" I called out as I started jogging the distance to the horse steeple, Nick momentarily forgotten because now I had to go take care of my stubborn redneck uncle. It took a few minutes to jog out there, and by the time I got there, I was a bit sweaty from the heat. I could go for some water after this.
The door to the steeple was opened a bit, so I opened it more, just for my ears to be graced with the sweet words of," Stupid bitch." And my uncle pushing past me, not even seeing me. I looked into the barn and saw Carol standing there in shock. Anger flooded through me, and I turned away from her and started after my uncle.
"Hey asshole!" I yelled at him. He turned to me and just glared.
"Don't talk to me like that, I'm-"
"You're an asshole, I was right!" He stopped and faced me, his 'I'm a big scary hunter redneck' was showing as he tried to puff his chest out at me. He didn't scare me, no matter how much he would try, I don't think I could be scared of my uncle. Plus, he was just angry, and I could be angry too. "What the fuck was that? Callin' Carol a bitch for? She ain't done nothin'!" I hissed at him.
"'Zactly! I been lookin' for her goddamn girl, I'm 'bout ta find her, and she tells me that she don't think I will!" I faltered a bit at this, not knowing exactly how to take that. I knew she hadn't given up, me and Uncle Daryl hadn't, but she was accepting her being gone. I shook it out of my mind and stabbed my finger into his chest, glaring.
"That don't mean you can be an asshole. She's in there, crying, because all she does is care about our sorry asses." He grabbed my finger to pull it away, but at the mention of her crying, I saw his demeanor drop. It rose right back up again as he shoved away my hand and started to walk away.
"Where the fuck do you think you're going?" I asked, throwing my arms up. What's with people walking away from me today?
"Don't need your bullshit, Tessa May!" he yelled and flipped me off without looking back. For the second time that day, I screamed into my hands, frustrated. I definitely knew I did not do something wrong this time. Uncle Daryl was acting like a little bitch.
I went back into the steeple, and hugged the crying Carol close. I stayed in there with her for a good amount of time, just listening to her talk about what happened. I got a little mad when she said she didn't know if they'd find Sophia, but I could understand where she was coming from now. "We'll find her, I know we will Carol," I reassured her, and she just gave a tight smile. It was then that Uncle Daryl came back into the steeple, much more calm now, and told Carol he had to show her something. His tone was down now, and he gave me a nod, and I nodded back. We were square.
I left the steeple after that and walked back to our camp. I saw Rick and Hershel and Jimmy leaving, and I saluted them as I passed. I'd ask Uncle Daryl about the skins later, now I had to find Glenn or Nick. I found them together, sitting on the porch of the Greene's house with Beth, Patricia, Carl, and Lori. Glenn was standing by the house, but Nick was on the stairs though, sharpening a knife. "Hey, pretty boy," I said to him. He looked up with a blank expression.
"Can I talk ta you?" I asked. He nodded, and I sat down on the porch next to him. It was silent between us for a minute, before I opened my mouth. "I'm so-"
"Where is everyone?"
"You haven't seen Rick?"
"He went off with Hershel, we were supposed to leave a couple of hours ago," Andrea said, her and T-Dog walking up.
"Yeah you were, what the hell?" Uncle Daryl now showed himself, Carol behind him.
"Rick told us he was going out!" They argued back. Rick didn't go out to look for Soph? What the fuck? I heard Nick sigh from next to me. Looks like he felt the group drama starting up again.
"Damn it. Isn't anybody taking this seriously? We got us a damn trail!" Uncle Daryl shouted. Shane then came up with the bag of guns. Nick and I stood up automatically, moving closer to see what was the problem. Hershel said no guns, what was Deputy doing? Jesus.
"What's all this?" Uncle Daryl asked him.
"You with me, man?" Shane asked him, holding out a rifle. Uncle Daryl took it without hesitation and cocked it. "Yeah."
"Time to grow up," Shane said. He looked to Andrea," You already got yours?"
"Yeah, where's Dale?" she asked.
He handed a gun to T-Dog as he said," He's on his way?"
"I thought we couldn't carry?" T-Dog said.
"Shane, what are you doin'?" I asked him. He ignored me and continued on with this whole mysterious speech about how we had to carry because this place wasn't safe. "Fuck," Nick whispered under his breath, knowing where this was heading, and I felt it too.
"How about you man? You gonna protect yours?" Shane said to Glenn, holding out another gun and looking at Maggie. Glenn took it. "That's it." He looked to Maggie now. "Can you shoot?"
"Can you stop?" she asked, anger in her voice. "You do this, hand out these guns, my dad will make you leave tonight!"
"Shane man, think about this," Nick said, stepping closer to Shane and holding his hands in front of his chest, trying to get Shane to calm down. Shane took out a handgun and held it towards him. "What about you, kid? Gonna protect your own?" Nick looked at the gun for a second, before taking it out of Shane's hand and stepping back next to me. Shane handed another to me and I took it, glancing at Uncle Daryl who was staring at Nick.
"Now look, Hershel, he's just gotta understand. He's gonna have to. Now we need to find Sophia, am I right?" He bent down to Carl's level and held out a gun. "Huh? Now I want you to take this, you take it Carl, and you keep your mother safe, you do whatever it takes. You know how, go on, take the gun and do it." Lori pushed Carl out of the way before Carl could take the gun.
"Rick said no guns, this is not your call!" Lori said to him, glaring down at Shane. "This is not your decision to make!"
"Shane, this is fucking nuts, we can't just-" I started, stepping forward again, when T-Dog interrupted.
All hell broke loose at the group seeing Hershel, Jimmy, and Rick leading two walkers on poles into the field. Shane ran out there, all of us screaming at him, trying to get him to stop. He started screaming, going insane practically and shouting at them about how the walkers weren't people, shooting them multiple times only to have them keep coming. I tried to step forward to stop him, but Nick held me back, and this time, I didn't get mad. I knew that if I tried to get involved like I always did, I would be the one hurt. Finally Shane shot the walker in the head, and Hershel fell to his knees. As if hell wasn't already out, Shane ran to the barn and broke it open, and called the walkers to get them pouring out.
It was a bloodbath. All of us with guns shot at the walkers, while the Greene family cried behind us. Half of me actually did not want to shoot, but I knew I had to. I didn't want anybody to get hurt. So I kept pulling the trigger along with everybody else. Finally, they stopped coming. Bodies littered the ground, and my breathing was heavy. Everybody stood in silence except for the cries of Beth, who was the loudest of them all. It hurt to hear her that way, but this had to be done. It had to-
There was shuffling, and groaning. There was one more walker in the barn. The door slowly opened as we all raised our guns, prepared to take it out. But everything, everything stopped when Sophia exited the barn. My heart dropped as did my arm holding the gun. A sharp ringing rang through my ears, and my breathing slowed. No, Soph... she had been in the barn all along. Somebody screamed, and I didn't realize it was me until Nick grabbed me into his arms. Carol's wails soon rang out, and Uncle Daryl grabbed her and pulled her to the ground. I stared in disbelief as the little girl I cared for, the one who came to ask me to play so many times. She was a sister, and now she was dead.
The pain quickly changed to anger, and I charged forward out of Nick's arms, raising my gun up at the walker Sophia. Tears poured down my cheeks in hot waves as I stared her down with my gun. She just titled her head and snarled. I cocked it, ready to shoot. My hand shook as I stared her down. But I couldn't pull the trigger. I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I turned my head to see Rick looking down at me. I nodded and he lightly pushed me back. A pair of arms went around me and pulled my head into his chest. "Don't look, Connie, don't look," he whispered to me, and I shut my eyes tight.
The sound of the gunshot rang through, and the sound of a small body hitting the floor followed after.
I heard Beth scream and start running towards her mother on the ground, who tired to snap at her. Andrea started to take care of the walker, but ended up just beating it right in front of Beth. I raised my gun and shot, killing the walker before Andrea could mutilate the woman. She looked to me, and I looked away from her. Stupid bitch.
The Greene's left after that, and Rick, Glenn, and Shane followed, trying to talk to Hershel. Carol took off as well. I moved from Nick's arms, but he was right behind me as I stood over Sophia. When I bent down to her, I saw my knife still hooked on her side. I unhooked it and took the knife out of the sheath. It was covered it black, crusted blood. That made me smile a bit; she didn't go without a fight, that was for sure. I clipped it around my waist. I went back into Nick's warm arms, and he led me away.
We walked through the woods, until we hit the creek. We sat there for God knows how long. He just let me cry, and he didn't say a word. I had lost a sister it felt like, like I had lost another shred of hope I had been holding on to. Sophia wouldn't get to see the Grand Canyon like she had wanted to, she wouldn't learn how to skin or hunt, to shoot a gun. She was just dead. Nick stayed with me for the time I took to cry, and not once did he smirk or tell me that I was an ugly crier, or that Dixons don't cry. It was nice.
When we got back, everybody was digging. As Nick and I walked up, it was silent, but I just bent down to Sophia, and scooped her up in my arms. "I got her," I said lightly. Nobody responded.
I took her to the tents, carrying her body in my arms. She was light, it didn't take much to carry her. We were going to have a funeral for them all, and I wanted her to look nice. I took the cloth sitting from when I washed Nick's face and wet it, and wiped off the dirt and grimes and blood from her face and arms. I ran out of my tent and to Carol's tent and dug through the suitcase of girl's clothes. I picked out the floral dress that she said her daddy would have never let her wear and hurried back to the body. I changed her into the nice dress, and then put the matching anchor bracelet on her wrist. I ran a hand through her matter hair, and just looked at her face.
Was this emptiness, this sadness, was this what Andrea had felt at Amy's death. I felt sorry now, that I had hit her, and thought bad of her. I didn't know it could hurt this bad, and Sophia wasn't even my blood.
Nick was sitting outside the whole time, waiting for me. I carried Sophia's small body in my arms, and we slowly walked to where we were going to bury all of the dead. Everybody was helping, except for Carol. We finally got the bodies all wrapped up and we all stood. "She looks nice," Andrea said softly to me. I looked into her bruised face, and I saw the pain she held.
"We square?" I whispered to her, holding out my hand. She gave a small smile and took my hand, shaking it. "We're square."
We put the bodies in the graves, and I went to the RV to get Lori, Carol, and Uncle Daryl from the RV. Nick stayed behind to help get the Greenes. I made my way to the RV, the gold necklace clutched in my hand. I planned to give it to Carol tonight, as a comfort token. I stepped up and quietly opened the door.
"That's not my little girl, that's some other... thing." I heard Carol say softly as I entered the RV. I stopped in my tracks and just stared at her.
"How could you say that?" I said sharply. They turned to look at me, and I just shook my head in disgust. That was her daughter, that was Sophia. I had gotten her ready, cleaned her, dressed her, and she was going to act like that wasn't her daughter. "You make me sick, Carol," I whispered, and threw the flower necklace I had in my hand for her right at her.
I stormed out, and went down the the graves. Nick didn't say anything, he just stood by my side as the tears fell again. Glenn wrapped an arm around me and kissed the side of my head, and I sniffled. He loved Maggie, I could see it, and I was happy that he was still here. He was my best friend in this fucked up world, and through fucked up shit, he was still here. I hoped he wouldn't leave too.
Lori and Uncle Daryl joined along with the Greenes, but Carol did not come. The Greene family was dressed nicely, while the rest of us just stared. It was silent. Before we started covering the graves, I walked to Sophia's grave, and took the hunting knife off from around my hips. I held the sheath in my hands for a second. My daddy had given me this knife, and at one time, it was worth more than gold to me. Now, it was Soph's, and she had fought to live, I knew it. I squeezed it once before throwing it into her hole. The graves were covered after that, and it was silent from everybody. We took another minute of silence when the job was finished, before all going our separate ways. I stayed at the grave, sitting right in front of Sophia's. Nick stayed beside me, sitting with his knees propped up.
"I'm sorry for being mad at you earlier. I was just angry," I said simply.
"I know Con, I know."
NotesLots of stuff going on in this chapter. They found Soph. Tessa's sad. Sadface.
I know there was more that happened on this day, but it'll be recapped next chapter. Stay tuned. Vote and review guys.
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