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Blood Soaked Arrows

The Apology

Staring into the empty black void made the skin on the back of my neck feel as if frozen needles were being stabbed through it and into my brain. I had never been put at the end a gun before and been so petrified with fear that I could think of nothing to do to disarm him or dodge the bullet. In that one solid moment I was weak, helpless, and filled with terror. When that hard unmistakable click sounded through the air I gave into that moment, let the fear ride me and flinch back waiting for the bang to go off.

Seconds passed and the only banging sound I could hear was the blood rushing through my eardrums and my heart rhythmically pounding out a beat in my chest. Fear began to subside as curiosity started to take over. Hesitantly I lifted my eyelids and what I saw before me I almost could believe. Rick at some point had maneuvered his way in between Shane and I while Daryl stood beside Shane with his gun pressed against the side of his head.

I wasn’t sure which person surprised me more, the fact that despite the heated argument Daryl and I had just gotten into he was willing to kill an man that threaten my life, or if Rick- a man that I had met mere moments ago- was risking his own life by standing in the line of fire. Shane looked just as surprised as I was at Rick and Daryl’s actions, and even started cursing silently to himself.

Rick was the first to try and calm down Shane. “Listen to me now brother,” He spoke in a low and almost calming manner. “This here, shooting an innocent woman, it isn’t you. Now I know, I know that you want to jump at your first chance at a cure here. Heck we all do, but this isn’t how you do it. This isn’t how a civilized person goes about it so Shane I’m going to ask you to lower your gun, return to being that clear headed man again, and just trust me to take care of things.”

Rick’s words, as calming and well collected as they were, didn’t really seem to effect Shane’s decision very much. He still had the heated stare and the twisted smile on his face as he stared into my direction which had my hand twitching for Rick’s holstered gun, but I managed to contain myself. Shane’s eye drifted over to the side that had Daryl’s gun pressed against his temple and after a nail biting second he raised his other hand away from the trigger and defensively shrugged his shoulders.

“You’re right Rick.” He said in a nonchalantly way. “The day’s just been getting to me I guess. I’ve been making all the wrong choices it seems.”

He slowly lowered the end of his gun back towards the ground. Both Rick and Daryl held the positions until the old man with the dress clothes on came forward and took the gun from him. Shane gripped him hand into a fist at the loss of his gun, making it clear that he was very happy about losing it, but Rick didn’t seem to notice.

“I know Shane, I know.” Rick spoke reassuringly using hand gestures to help ease the tension on the situation. “Maybe it’s for the best if you go find some shade and cool down for a minute.”

Shane tensed right back up at being dismissed. “What? Rick come on man it was one mistake, I’ve cooled down already.”

“I know you have.” Rick agreed. “But I don’t think Evelyn here feels very comfortable around you right now.”

Shane made his face expression look to be innocent and almost pleading as he looked over his friends shoulder at me but I could see the cold hatred in his eyes and immediately stiffened. Rick was right in that I didn’t feel comfortable with him around but a few minutes away from me wasn’t going to change my opinion of him.

Realizing that he wasn’t going to be able to sneak his way into staying Shane lowered his hands into his pockets and glared over at Rick. “Fine,” he barked before turning on his heels and stomping away.

Daryl lowered his gun down at Shane’s retreat but didn’t take his eyes off of him as he walked away and honestly, I don’t think that anyone else did either until he was quite a bit away.

Daryl turned back around towards Rick but caught my eye by mistake. I could feel the slight race in my chest start up at seeing those Georgia blues again but I also felt the stab of regret as well. I hadn’t thought that I would ever see Daryl Dixon ever again after the he drove away in that grey truck, and even if I had I hadn’t expected our reunion to go down with us yelling at one another and getting into a nasty fight. Daryl was difficult to read in those few short seconds, I wasn’t sure if he was conflicted like I was or just plain pissed. As if to answer my own question his eyes narrowed in my direction becoming a full on glare.

Rick broke Daryl and mine’s connection when he let out a quick sigh before turning around to face me. He had a forced smile on his face which made me immediately clam up and then I noticed how tired his eyes were. “So,” He startled a little gruffly, “I just wanted to let you know that you are safe here. Despite the recent turn of events we are indebted to you for saving Sophia, so whatever it is that you want within a reasonable range, consider it done.”

I knew that he was just trying to butter me up so that he could get me to hand over the vaccinations but that wasn’t going to be happening. “I think that you’re getting the wrong impression of me here.” I said as nicely as I could. “I’m just going to be here for a night at most to observe Sophia and then I’ll be on my way.”

“Are you really that concerned about my daughter?” The woman with greying hair spoke up. Her face a red and blotchy from all the crying and screaming she had done earlier but something about her reminded me of Dr. Jenner and I didn’t know why.

I answered her as honestly as I would have Dr. Jenner. “I am but I would be lying if I said that it was the only reason I’m keeping a close eye on her. I have to make sure that what I gave her has indeed cured her or just prolonged the infection.”

“Why are you doing all of this?” She questioned a little shaky and I couldn’t help but soften.

“If I had just found the medicine by mistake and magically figure out what it was meant to do then I would have still tried to save your daughter life because I had a little brother around her age and there is no way I can let a child die like that. Since I was given this medicine however with the intention of just testing it out I have to do as I was meant to and then get back with the results.”

Another woman stepped forward, she had short blonde hair that was wavy and had been the only other woman shooting down the geeks when they had been flooding out of the barn. “You keep saying that you have a purpose or that the medicine was given to you. Who gave it to you?”

I crinkled my nose at her question. “I would have normally told ya’ to fuck off and that it was classified information but seeing as how the world is the way it is I suppose I don’t have to keep those kinds of secrets anymore. It was given to me by Dr. Jenner at the CDC.”

I watched as all of their eyes widened in shock. At first I thought that maybe there were just confused or something but as I watched their expressions I saw that some started to look angry with my answer.

“Wait a second. Are you talking about the CDC in Atlanta?” Rick questioned.

I gave him a weird look. “Well that is the only one capable enough to create such a formula other than France I’d assume.”

“No wait you couldn’t have gotten that from them. You’re mistaken. We went there and Dr. Jenner said that there was no cure.” Rick spoke in a disbelieving tone. “Said that they couldn’t even find out what the infection was.”

I frowned at him. “No you’re the one that must be mistaken. Dr. Jenner wouldn’t lie and say that to a bunch of civilians even if it was classified research. When did you go to the CDC?”

“Less than a week ago.” He said in a hurried sort of tone which made my chest tighten.

“I was already out conducting research by then so she shouldn’t have lied to you.”

Rick was about to bombard me with another set of questions when the Asian man piped up. “Wait a second. You said that Dr. Jenner was a ‘she’?” I nodded my head slowly at his question only to have him start to shake his head at me. “That’s not right. The Dr. Jenner we talked to was a man. Dr. Edwin Jenner.”

As soon as his name came out of his lips I instantly smiled before giving a quick laugh. “Oh that’s who you talked to?” The rest of the group answered with stares making my smile grows a little bit more. “That man doesn’t know anything. He just works there basically. You should have talked to his wife Dr. Candace Jenner; she was the one that I was testing it out for.”

The Asian man frowned more at me before lifting his hand up to his head. “Okay now I’m confused.”

“I’ll handle it Glenn.” Rick motioned a hand up to him before turning back to me. “When was the last time you were at the CDC?”

I could feel the ominous feeling in the air circling around me and it was suddenly becoming harder to breathe. “About a month ago why?”

“Okay,” He said on a sigh and then took in a deep breath as if he was just about to feed me some bad news. “Were you close to anyone there or something because this might be a little hard for you if you were?”

“I was close to everyone.” I could feel my chest grow tight as panic started to set in. “I was raised there and practically lived there. I think of the doctors as part of my family. Why did something happen?” I asked a little hysterical. “Did something happen to the CDC? To my family?”

“Listen,” He told me calmly before reaching out and touching a hand to my shoulder to try and calm me down. “It’s not easy for me to say this but the CDC…when we were there Dr. Jenner was the only one there-

“No that a lie. He lied to you. His wife was there and so were Dr. Ridges, and Wisze and and..”

He touched his other hand to my opposite shoulder. “Listen Evelyn it was only him. The other doctors had either fled or committed suicide and his wife was infected and then donated her body to be observed and tested on.”

I started shoving at him as hot tears were flooding my eyes. “That’s a lie! She never even went outside! She only opened the door to let me in and out there was no way she could have been infected-

The memory of our last encounter replayed it’s self in my head. How she had ran outside to me so that she could tell me how much she love me and to say good-bye, how I had not wanted to cry in front of her so I never looked back. Had she been infected then? Had it been my fault that she was infected?

“I know how hard it is to lose someone you care about. We’ve all lost someone that was important to us one way or another and I know that losing the CDC is hard for you now but you will get through this. If you want to go ahead and cry it’s okay, no one will judge you because of it.” He leveled.

I could feel my knees growing weak and my mind becoming soggy with the pain and horror of finding out that I had lost my family, I had lost my home. My grip tightened on the strap of my back as I took in a deep shaky breath. The tears in my eyes were blinding me and my chest was in so much pain that I felt as if I was going to black out any minute but I couldn’t break down and cry for my lose. I needed to find out what all had happened. I need to know everything that had gone down before I broke.

Slowly, to myself more than to him, I shrugged his hand off of my shoulder and took in another less shaky breath. “I’m not gonna cry. Just tell me what all happened.”

“Are you sure? You can let it all out if you need to-

“I’m fine.” I argued a little more sternly. “Just tell me what happened.”

So he told me. He told me about how they had arrived at the CDC in the middle of the night and how Dr. Jenner had been the one to let them in. Rick had thought that there would have been more people there originally and thought that maybe they were hiding some when but soon he realized that it was just Dr. Jenner. Edwin had ended up staying there after the death of his wife because she had made him promise. After her death Edwin had said that the CDC just gave up hope and crumpled along with it. Rick told me that they only ended up staying there for a day because the CDC had run out of power to run on so area wide decontamination occurred but luckily that air hadn’t caught on fire and exploded the building until after his group had cleared it. When I asked him about Jenner he said that the man had chosen to stay behind along with one of their group members.

At the end of the story I found myself laughing. The group looked at me like I was crazy and I could bet that I looked that way to. I swiped at a tear that was sliding down the side of my face. “That dumb bastard should have just switched to the water turbines under the building that dumb fucker.”

“What?” Rick asked confused.

I laughed a little bit more as I spoke. “There was um this old mining tunnel that ran alongside the CDC. During construction they broke into this underground well or something and decided to build a water turbine over it in case we ever needed a backup generator.”

“So you’re saying that he could have continued on down there?” Rick as a little furious.

I nodded my head. “Definitely.”

He kicked at the ground before running his hand through his hair. “Are you sure that he even knew about it.”

I laughed. “Everyone did.” Rick cursed. “But I’m sure he was ready to die anyways with wife gone and all.”

Rick eyed me afterwards, trying to figure out how hurt I was by the news. Truth was I was devastated but now wasn’t the time to cry and break down because of it, there would be a time for that later hopefully.

I took another deep breath before nodding over for Rick to continue on the conversation. He did without even hesitating. “How many vaccinations do you have exactly?”

“More than I care to share.”

He cocked his eyebrow at me. “But aren’t those things meant for us? To save us from this infection?”

I shrugged my shoulders at him nonchalantly. “Probably but I don’t know you people very well and personally I’m not too keen on just handing them out to a bunch of strangers that might not even be capable of protecting themselves anyway.”

“Protecting themselves? You don’t know what we’ve had to go through to survive this hell hole. We are more than capable of taking care of each other.” The blonde woman with a gun said angrily.

“You’re right,” I cocked my head at her. “I don’t know what you’ve been through but I do know that even with all of your guns and members you still weren’t able to save a little girl from getting infected, if ya’ can’t protect one child then how do ya’ expect me to believe that ya’ can cover your own asses?”

She frowned at me, taking her arms and crossing them over her chest. “Look that was one incident, you can’t blame us for something like that especially with Sophia ending up being cured in the end.”

“Only because I intervened.” I shook my head at her. “If I hadn’t shown up when I did ya’ would have just put her down.”

The woman scoffed at me before rolling her eyes and shrugging her shoulders. The old man that was among the group took her silence as an opportunity to ask his own questions. “That thing you used to save the little girl, could you have used it to save the others as well?” He gestured over to the pile of dead bodies lying in front of the barn.

I looked over my shoulder at them for no more than a second before shaking my head. “The shot that I gave Sophia was the last one and even if I did have more there is no way I could have cured them.”

The man frowned at me as if he thought I was lying to him. He pointed a finger to the little girl hiding behind my back. “You were able to cure her.” He almost shouted. “What the differences?”

I found myself frowning at him. “The difference is that I already tried saving an Adult Geek before and even though their body was salvable they didn’t return back into a human. That’s when I found out that it can only be done on a child, whose brain hasn’t been full developed yet.”

“So there was no way that we could have cured those sick people?” He gestured back over to the group of dead bodies. “You can only ‘put them down’ is that what you’re saying.”

I said at him referring to the Geeks as sick people. I had also thought of them as just sick people but after failing to cure one of them and having to kill them when they came after me I had lost the privilege of seeing them as such.

“There is no way I could have cured them no, and with the CDC down there is no way that I can cure anybody ever again. The vaccinations are the only thing that I have left and even those can’t do much.”

Rick finally spoke up again. “But those can protect us from getting infected it can potentially save us.”

I shook my head at him. “The vaccination doesn’t make ya’ invincible here Rick. Ya’ can still be torn apart by those things and still die.”

“But you have the thing that can give us that little bit of edge, you’ve given us hope that we can survive and beat this damn apocalypse.” He shouted defensively at me.

Feeling uncomfortable with the amount of pressure I was being put under I started shifting my weight around. “Listen,” I sighed. “Ya’ said that I could have anything that I asked for right?”

The man looked from the bag and then up to me before taking a loud gulp and nodding. “Anything reasonable.”

“Well then let me make the decision on whether or not to give ya’ the vaccinations. If I believe that ya’ all can take care of yourselves then I’ll give ya’ the shot but if ya’ don’t well then there is no point in me wasting them on ya’.”

The man looked as if he was going to argue with me some more but as he stood there looking from me to the bag something shifted in his eyes. “Are you planning on staying with us then for a while before making a decision?”

A sad smile crossed my face before I shrugged my shoulders at him. “It’s not like I have anything better to do.”

He stared at me for a long second before nodding his head in my direction. “Well if that’s the best that I can get out of you then I suppose it will do for now. “ He started to turn back to the group to say something but I piped back in.

“I have one more thing to ask for.” He sighed before turning around and giving me his attention. I smiled a little before pointing a finger to my ‘tank’. “That car and all of the weapons in it are mine. I will not help ya’ if something happens and I do not expect to be considered a part of your group. My first priority is this medicine so doesn’t expect much from me.”

The man gave me a curt nod before turning back to the group. It was obvious now that he was the leader of them all and seeing as how it was a group discussion that was happening I obviously had not point in being there. So I went over to my jacket that I had discarded and picked it up along with my first aid kit before ushering Sophia over to my ‘tank’.
She looked at the thing with wide eyes as we approached it and even looked a little scared making me laugh. I started to pack the things back inside of it and made sure that everything was secure before taking out the keys from the ignition and stuffing them into my pocket. Think about how the little girl hadn’t eaten in days I reached behind my seat and pulled out a bag of food. Sophia looked even more surprised at seeing all of the food and as soon as I gave her some of it she immediately started chowing down.
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The group left me and Sophia alone while they went about their daily routines but every so often one of them would glance over at us, shoot a glare over at me and wave to Sophia. Our time together wasn’t spent in silence however. Each time a person came into view I would point them out to Sophia and ask her who they were and what her thoughts were on them.

Sophia ended up being a very friendly and positive person. She seemed to like everyone in the group but when she neglected to tell me anything about Shane I realized that she obviously didn’t like him. When I asked her about it she simple said that when he dad was still alive he had hit her mama. Shane had taken it upon himself to deal with her dad and beat him really bad and because of his wounds he had been unable to defend himself against the walkers that attacked their camp. She didn’t really seem all that sad that her father was gone which raised my suspension on her dad even more.

Sophia stopped talking about her dad when her mother caught her attention. Carol kept her distance from us just like everybody else but she would stand there for hours on end and just stare at her daughter. I knew that Rick must have said something to her as well as the rest of the group about staying away but I didn’t mind if Carol came over to see her daughter, I just didn’t want her touching her yet.

Andrea, the blonde woman with the gun, nudge at Carol’s side to get her moving. The group was moving the dead bodies away from the barn and I guess that they thought that it might keep her mind off of her daughter or something.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later when I saw a batch of black smoke climbing up over the tree tops that I realized that they were burning the bodies. It made me want to throw up or gag and when I looked over at Sophia to see how she was reacting to it she simply just looked away. It had obviously happened before.

Time slowly passed by and Sophia and me lulled into a comfortable silence. By the way the sun was setting I could tell that it was going to be getting dark soon. I opened up my ‘tank’ and started moving things off of the passenger seat. Sophia was going to need a place to sleep for the night and since my ‘tank’ was the safest place to relax in I thought it’d be best for her to rest there.

I was just pulling a blanket out from the back when I heard footsteps coming this way. Thinking that it was Rick or something I rolled my eyes before hoping over to the driver’s side and slipping out of the ‘tank’. To my surprise it wasn’t Rick who had come over to us but Daryl.

His gaze locked on with mine, instantly making my heart beat just a little bit faster. I was so shocked that he was standing in front of me that I didn’t know what to do. I mean how was I supposed to act around him? It was obvious that he was still pissed at me for not telling him about the whole Immune thing and I couldn’t just forgive him either for pointing a gun at me so it’s not like I could be the one to bow out first either.

After a long awkward moment I finally got up the nerve to ask. “What do ya’ want?” I had said it like I was angry to see him, which I wasn’t and instantly wished that I had spoken in a lighter tone.

His frown deepened before he scoffed and looked over to Sophia. Without waiting for permission from me or anything he took a step towards the child and leaned a little bit closer to her. Her eyes were wide as she stared up at him but a small smile was playing on her lips as well.

In a calming voce Daryl started talking to the little girl. “Ya’ know you gave your mama one hell of a scare when ya’ took off in them woods.”

The girls face fell a little at that and she quickly dropped her gaze from him. “I know,” She muttered quietly. “I saw a Walker and got scared and then I got lost and didn’t know which way to go.”

Daryl nodded at the little girl before reaching behind his back and pulling out an old doll. It wasn’t one of those fancy ones with the plastic faces and painted on nails but rather a homemade one with a stitched on face and stained dress. He held it out to Sophia and when her little face lit up I knew that she had missed the little toy dearly.

She snatched it out of his hands without even thinking about it and pressed the doll against her face as she hugged it. A few tears started dripping down her face as she stared back up at Daryl making him snort in reaction.

“If I would have known that ya’ were going to cry about it I wouldn’t have washed it up for ya’.”

“Sorry,” Sophia let out a watery giggle before wiping her tears away with her arm. “How did you find it?”

He shifted awkwardly for a second before letting out a sigh. “I was looking for ya’.”

“You were?” She said in between a light sob.

“Of course I was, everyone was, we were all worried sick about chya’.” He scoffed.

Sophia stared at him for a second and then tears just started streaming down her face. “They were? You were all looking for me?”

Daryl looked back from me and then to the crying child, not really sure why she was crying or what he was supposed to do. Not really knowing what was going on I just shook my head at him before shrugging my shoulders.

He glared over at me for not helping him out and then kicked at the ground before squatting down to Sophia’s height. “Of course we were lookin’ for ya’. Every god damn day we looked.”

She sobbed even harder before throwing her arms around Daryl’s neck. “I didn’t think anyone was looking because nobody found me. I didn’t think anyone was looking. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

He awkwardly wrapped his arms around the little girl and patted her back gently while she cried into his flannel shirt. He held onto her until her sobs quieted and before long she was asleep. He picked up the sleeping child and looked back at me.

I lead him over to the passenger’s side and opened up the door for him. Daryl leaned into the care and set the small child down as gently as he could. I couldn’t help but look at the redneck and smile at how gentle he was being to her. Bringing her a lost doll, washing it up for her, and then letting her cry on him was all heart wrenchingly sweet.

He shut the door gently before turning around and nodding his head to me. I found myself smiling back to him and was about to awkwardly start a conversation with him when he suddenly spun on his heels and started stomping away.

“Hold on a sec’ Daryl.” I nearly shouted after him. He paused a few feet away from me but didn’t turn back around to face me. My feet carried me over to him quickly and I lightly touched his elbow.

He jerked his arm out of my touch and snarled. “What do ya’ want?”

I flinched at the sudden change in his mood and quickly made up my mind about things. “I just wanted to say that I was sorry.”

He let out a dry laugh before looking over his shoulder and looking me in the eye. “For what?”

I gulped at being put on the spot and felt a little uncomfortable about admitting that I was wrong. “For not telling ya’ about the CDC thing and picking a fight with ya’. I’m just sorry about how I handled it and all.”

He snorted at me before he continued walking away. Fearing that he was still mad at me I started chasing after him. He didn’t take me tailing him to kindly and spun around with an angry expression on his face.

“What do ya’ want now?” He spat.

I jumped slightly before touching a hand to my nervous stomach. “Do ya’ forgive me?”

He hitched the strap of his cross bow up a little higher on his shoulder before averting his eyes from me. “Give me some time to process this.”

Knowing that it was all that I could really ask of him I nodded my head a little disappointed before taking a step back. He was just about to turn away again but I stopped him.

“Hey Daryl,” He let out a tired grunt which I took as a ‘what’. “Earlier when Shane was going to shoot me, ya’ placed a gun to his head.”

His blue eyes met mine and I noticed how they softened which made me smile lightly. “Thanks for doing what chaya did back there.”

He nodded his head at me. “Didn’t do it to save your ass, did it ‘cause the guys a pig.”

I lowered my head a little bit lower and bit down on the bottom of my lip. “Well thanks anyway.”

I turned around and left before anything else could be said. It wasn’t that I was in a big hurry to leave or anything but I didn’t really want to waste anymore of his time either, it would just piss him off. So I went back to my ‘tank’ and locked the doors once I was settled inside. I looked back out the window to see that Daryl was already gone and felt a little drop in my chest. I really hoped that he forgave me soon.

Notes

So wondering what your guys thoughts are and wondering what you think will happen to Sophia? Will she stay human or die? Thoughts, concerns, likes, all much appreicated.

Comments

Wish you had finished

Francesmbezenah Francesmbezenah
1/13/16

It's a good start

Francesmbezenah Francesmbezenah
1/12/16

Hope you update. really like this story

Gilyflower Gilyflower
3/28/15

U should really update this story it's really good

lexy lexy
1/30/15

Just found the by accident. Last night . amazing read it all had to wait for morning, to figure out how to leave comment
I hope youfiinish this.i

dombast dombast
1/9/15